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AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | What Happens When Violence Interrupts a Community’s Trust? - Mahoning Matters


In 2013, after having lived in Youngstown my entire life, I was the victim of an attempted home invasion. I was there when the would-be intruder broke the glass in an effort to come through my back door. Naturally, I was left shaken for months. And no one in my community matched my outrage. It’s not that the people around me weren’t generally concerned about my safety. But being a Youngstown native, I was expected to be used to crime in my community. This attitude and expectation is not unique to our city. In many Black neighborhoods across the country, violence — particularly gun violence — is something we’ve just come to accept as part of what comes with living in certain ZIP codes. We acknowledge it. But we often feel like the only options available to us are to live with it or move. In order for a community to be truly transformed, the members of that community have to be actively involved in the transformation. That’s something I staunchly believe in. Like Patricia Stokes, the neighborhood steward for the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation says, “You’re living this! You know what’s going on in your neighborhood. So you’re able to talk about what needs to be done.”

To see the full story from Mahoning Matters, click here.