Thursday, January 24, 2008


It's that time of the year for YIP to have a Male Teen Summit and Resource Fair. This summit is for males for ages 12-18 years of age. Some big topics will be addressed heavily at the summit. They are Education, Employment, Health Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Those are some of the challenges facing young black males and we feel these issues should be addressed now before it’s too late.

The summit will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The location for the summit will be Grace Church of the Nazarene at 18020 Hoover in Detroit.. I had the privilege to attend the summit last year and I can say that I was very proud of the people who came out to support our campaign and YIP. Roughly 250 young and grown black males spoke about issues going on in their community and what needs to be done about it.

People such as Deputy Chief Ralph Godbee, men from college, and directors from youth programs were also there. The resources networking will be a big thing at the summit and our males need to take advantaged of it. So I invite all teen males around the city to come out and speak out. Your voice matters. So let it be heard and help make a change in your community!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Young Males Must Take the Initiative for 2008

Joshua Pelt
University Prep High School

Youth Initiatives Project

It is time for a change not only in Detroit, but all over the United States of America. Youth Initiatives Project (Y.I.P) which is a youth driven program has a primary focus to reach out to youth in the community. Speaking from a males point a view, Detroit needs a lot of support in shaping boys into young men! Males in Detroit are losing the battle to live and are falling like soldiers. More than 93 percent of homicide victims in 2006 were black males. In response, Y.I.P has put together the second Annual Male Teen Summit and Resource Fair which will address employment, education, mentoring, entrepreneurship and health. Males from ages 13-19 are welcome to attend. It will be held Saturday, March 8, 2008 at The Grace Church of Nazarene 18020 Hoover road from 10am-2pm.

For further information please contact us at: (313) 965-6924

Making A Change

V’Lecea Hunter
Youth Initiatives Project

It is a disgrace to look at the local news and see people loosing their lives to gun violence. I wonder why people use guns to gain respect, make peace, or even feel as though they have power? That is the question I ask. I believe no one could ever give me a valid answer. Of course I have been told by others who have stated “that’s how I was raised” or “that’s the only way I can survive”. When saying these phrases, one is simply giving in to apathy.

I want everyone to stop and think. Think about your child, your sister, your brother, your mother or any other close relatives you have. What if they were shot and you had to do something to prevent that from happening to someone else in your family, but you could not retaliate with any type of weapon. What would you do?

Would you give up. Would you use a gun anyway, or would you gather up a group of people that’s against gun violence and make an end to the situation.

Well, I think the best result is to form a group that’s against gun violence and speak up. Speak up for what you believe in and don’t give up. For example, the Youth Initiatives Project (YIP) has a campaign that goes on every year called “Hung Not Bullets” and it’s to discourage people from using firearms on New Years Eve. YIP just completed its fourth year of the campaign on December 30, 2007 and it was a great turn out. The youth were able to state their opinions towards gun violence and we got the message out.

By supporting our campaign, a lot of people are saying they believe in us and know that we are capable of change. We want to see people enjoying life, loving who they are and doing the things they want to do peacefully.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Enough is Enough by Aaron Archie

Imagine you are gathered with your family. There is laughter, talking, food, music, and a little dancing. The grown folks, as they are known are in one room, the teenagers are off to themselves, and the little ones are playing in another room. There is laughter to be heard everywhere. Everyone is waiting for that one special moment, that time or second that will never come again. Everyone is counting down 5,4,3,2,1, HAPPY NEW YEARS, everyone shouts and in that split second as the New Year begins, a child screams! All the family members runs to the room where the little ones are, and there they find a 4 year old child lying on the floor in a pool of blood, dead from a stray bullet to the neck.

This is a scenario no one wants to think about, no one wants to imagine that a time of togetherness, new beginnings, and happiness can quickly change to a time of sadness and mourning. Well I am here tell to you that this can happen to any child who lives in a community where the tradition is bring in the New Year with a hail of bullets. I know as a child growing up in the city of Detroit this is a sound often heard on New Year's Day at 12:00 am. I am here today to let everyone know that I'm tired of it and enough is enough. Guns being used to bring in a New Year is a negative message that is being sent to the youth of our community saying that its okay to use guns, and it needs to be stopped. There is a campaign around town that should be known and practiced by every person in this city who is as feed up as me, and that campaign is "Hugs Not Bullets". Hugs Not Bullets is centered around that basic idea of bringing family together while keeping the overall community safe. Our community is suffering from gun violence as it is. However, it particularly becomes even more dangerous when there are thousands of stray nameless bullets flying around. Hugs Not Bullets is encouraging every man, woman, and child to bring back what has been forgotten in our community "respect and love thy neighbor". Its time to bring back the unity of our community by reinforcing the belief by giving a hug at that magical moment of 12:00am is special!

Hugs Not Bullets, is sending a message to the youth that you can have a good time without bringing violence into the home. HUGS NOT BULLETS, is reinforcing the belief of TOGETHERNESS. HUGS NOT BULLETS, is bringing back "LOVE BETWEEN ONE ANOTHER. HUGS NOT BULLETS, is insuring the lives of our mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters,and most important of all our children going into the New Year. Hugs Not Bullets, is a phrase we can say to each other when we want to encourage others to put down that gun on New Year's.

We at the Youth Initiatives project are making strides to creating a safer environment for all people, but the truth is we can't do it alone. We have had help from sources such as the Police Department and K and G fashion Superstore, but that is not enough . We need your help to make your community a safer one for you and your family. You have to want this to end and if you do, and make efforts to stop it, it will.