Dr. Joseph Marshall, Street Soldiers Radio
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following conversation took place on Street Soldiers Radio between Dr. Joseph Marshall, co-founder and executive director of the San Francisco-based violence prevention program Alive & Free, and Reverend Michael McBride of The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley. Reverend McBride is the director of the Lifelines to Healing Campaign, a project of the PICO National Network. The campaign is committed to addressing gun violence and mass incarceration of young people of color.
Dr. Marshall: In 2013 there was a drop in homicides in Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond, even down in San Jose, [and] in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago – from your perspective what do you think is going on here?
Rev. McBride: I’ll certainly say it’s a confluence of a number of different things, primary of which is people’s desire to stay alive and free. The choices that people are beginning to make. A lot of our loved ones and family members who are caught in these cycles of violence and poverty and exposed to nothing but tools of death … I think with the right focus and the right path and opportunity a lot of our young men are deciding to live and to solve their conflicts without resorting to lethal violence.
I think the credit has to go, at the beginning of this conversation, to every single young person that has decided to put down their gun and say, “I want to live another day.” And then after that I think the credit and the responsibility must go to all those folks who are leading organizations and movements to actually partner with the young folks and their families in these communities to make sure that their desire to live is matched with the resources, tools, with healing and all the different mechanisms that pretty much every human being across the world has access to if they are living in healthy communities that produce life and not death.
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