Taking Anti-Violence Message From Bay Area Streets to the White House

Jan. 23, 2013 / By


IMG_6459-150x150EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a transcript of a conversation that took place on Street Soldiers Radio between Dr. Joseph Marshall, co-founder and Executive Director of Omega Boys Club of San Francisco and Reverend Michael McBride of The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley. Reverend McBride is also Director of the Lifelines to Healing Campaign, with the PICO National Network. The campaign is committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color. Both Marshall and McBride were recent guests at the White House, where they spoke about the issue of gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.


Dr. Marshall: So, I’m sitting in my car going through my emails at 7 o’clock at night and I get this email:

Dear Dr. Marshall,

In the weeks since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence. President Obama has asked his Administration to identify concrete proposals for real reform in the coming weeks. The Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation specifically has been asked how to collaborate with the Office of the Vice President to consider how we might address the issue. Rather than prepare legislative proposals, we have been asked to explore how community solutions might allow us to tackle this challenge in a bottom-up, cross-sector manner.

As part of that process, senior Administration officials would like to hold a hands-on meeting on Friday, January 11th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with leading thinkers from the broad field of social innovation. This is not a conventional meeting wherein people simply will listen, but we anticipate a hands-on problem solving session wherein attendees drawn from different sectors will be expected to participate and present.

So I finally get it — they’re asking me to come to the White House. It was Tuesday night and they wanted me to be there on Friday. So I say, “I’m going.” It was great to be asked from the Bay Area. The event was a social innovation workshop on violence prevention. They want(ed) to gather info and take it back to Vice President Biden, because you know gun control is the hottest thing right now.

Someone else was doing the same thing. Someone from the Bay, Reverend Michael McBride of PICO. Let’s get him on the line.

Reverend, how you doing?

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