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Urban Violence And Kansas City Youth


When it comes to violence, it's been a long hot summer in Kansas City. Nightly local news is peppered with reports of violent incidents.

According to Kansas City police statistics, 77 percent of the victims are young black males. When homicides spiked three years ago, the city council called for a commission to examine the root causes of violence.

But community leaders say efforts to address the problem have been too little, too late, and they are critical of planners who have not involved young people in finding solutions.

KC Currents' Susan Wilson talked to former gang member Ossco Bolton about the causes and solutions. Bolton is a youth advocate and founder of POSSE - Peers Organized to Support Student Excellence.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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