Mayor Hancock Launches National Youth Violence Prevention Week

Published on April 13, 2021

Mayor Michael B. Hancock yesterday launched National Youth Violence Prevention Week alongside members of the Youth Violence Prevention Action Table. The mayor emphasized the city’s commitment to preventing youth violence, while members of the Action Table highlighted strategic objectives and stressed the importance of having youth participate as partners in this fight. 

National Youth Violence Prevention Week was created in 2001 by the Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), an initiative of Sandy Hook Promise. Denver is one of many states highlighting National Youth Violence Prevention Week from April 12 – 16 and encouraging everyone to approach what they do with a clear purpose of improving the mental, physical, and environmental health and safety of our young people. Denver is using this week to jump start the city’s efforts to raise awareness, continue learning and taking action against youth violence.  

“Recognizing our young people who are making a positive impact and being the difference is something we all must commit to – lifting them up and working side by side with them in the fight to make our communities safer, not only this week, but every week,” Mayor Hancock said. “Youth violence is real, but most importantly, it’s preventable, and it requires every one of us to take a stand against violence.” 

“Youth violence is more than just gun violence and community violence,” said Jonathan McMillan, youth violence prevention coordinator. “It also includes self-harm, including suicide, alcohol, tobacco and substance misuse, and relationship violence. This is why Denver is taking a public health approach to the problem, and the Youth Violence Prevention Action Table was intentional about creating comprehensive solutions.” 

“We are the generation for change,” said Dane Washington, Jr., co-chair for the Youth Advisory Council of Denver. “Though we’re learning from the adults, we’re also giving them new ways to approach youth violence prevention. We’re in the community, we see the violence and we see the cause – that’s why youth voice is so important.”  

“Denver is prepared for this,” said Kristin Bronson, Denver city attorney. “We have the right leaders in place and a comprehensive plan with strategies that are community-led, city-supported and youth informed. We’re excited to spend this week looking for opportunities to share more about our plans around youth violence prevention and highlight the wonderful work of our youth in partnering with us in this effort.” 

Watch the virtual press conference and view Denver's Youth Violence Prevention Comprehensive Plan. To learn more about the city's efforts to prevent youth violence, visit denvergov.org/youthviolenceprevention.