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New summer youth program trying to prevent gun violence in Lexington

New summer youth program trying to prevent gun violence in Lexington
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 12:11 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dozens of kids in Lexington are participating in a new summer youth program.

‘It Takes A Village’ is aimed at preventing gun violence among youth and young adults in the city. The goal is to encourage young people to be all they can be and say no to guns.

Tuesday morning, about 50 kids gathered inside UK’s Esports Gaming Center with their eyes on One Lexington’s executive director Devine Carama. A fun conversation about who’s the hottest hip-hop artist quickly turned into the importance of language.

Carama says many of the kids In the program have witnessed gun violence. He told them not to even joke about guns, pointing out the devastating consequences gun violence can have on the community.

“They do it in jest and joking, not even realizing what they’re saying. It might be ‘gang-gang.’ They see an ambulance drive by and they say, ‘somebody done caught a body,’ just joking. They don’t mean anything by it. But when normalizing that kind of language they become desensitized to that. To me when you become desensitized to anything you no longer have the ability to rise up and make change. We don’t want this to be normal,” Carama said.

The summer program will teach kids conflict resolution. It’ll also feature college tours, movies at the lyric theater, games, and community events. Carama says the program is in need of more volunteers.

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