In YO S.O.S., youth organizers are stepping up to share their recommendations for safer schools and safer streets in our city. Safety is about much more than punishment, safety is about people having safe housing, livable wages, and the opportunities to pursue the lives they want to live. While limiting access to guns is an important factor, other factors such as institutional racism and attainment of social and economic human rights contribute to violence within communities.

So, what does a safer city mean to youth from Central Brooklyn? YO S.O.S. surveyed youth, convened focus groups with young people, and worked in small teams to create a list that reflects their perspectives. They focused on social and environmental factors that are root causes of violence, and include the following recommendations:

  • Create Trauma Informed Schools
  • Educate the Whole Child
  • Expand Restorative Justice Initiatives
  • Fund Successful Youth Engagement Programs
  • Strengthen Economic Opportunities for Young People
  • Transform the Media and Increase Media Literacy
  • Revise MTA Policies for Students and Low-Income New Yorkers
  • Promote Alternatives to Incarceration and Civic Education


Stay tuned for the complete document coming soon!

YO S.O.S. has long been working to reduce community-based gun violence and promote healing and youth leadership development. As young people in this youth-led movement to end gun violence across the U.S., we need to join together and ensure that anti-gun violence solutions make everyone safer. Adults must listen to young people and take seriously their experience, knowledge and wisdom.

Please share these recommendations widely. We are open to engaging in productive dialogue with others and always seek to expand our analysis. Any inquiries can be directed to YO S.O.S. at or (718) 773-6886.

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