“The immediate task is to generate the political, social, and economic will to make this happen, including the sustainability to reduce viоIеncе in Milwaukee, and create a more safe community where people can thrive.” – Dr. Howard Pinderhughes
Each year individuals, families, and communities in Milwaukee face the physical, mental, and economic costs of viоIеncе. As a leading cause of injury, disability, and premature death, this issue compromises health and safety. Merely witnessing violent incidents can result in psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and stress. ViоIеncе discourages economic development in troubled areas, affecting the accessibility of jobs, healthy food, and safe housing. The physical wellbeing of residents, who stay indoors to avoid violent behavior in their community, can exacerbate health problems.
“Community trauma is not just the aggregate of individuals in a neighborhood who have experienced trauma from exposures to viоIеncе,” said Dr. Pinderhughes in his presentation. “Community trauma is the product of the cumulative and synergistic impact of regular incidents of interpersonal, historical, and intergenerational viоIеncе and the continual exposure to structural viоIеncе.”
Structural viоIеncе refers to harm that individuals, families, and communities experience from the economic and social structure, social institutions, social relations of power, privilege and inequality, and inequity that may harm people and communities by preventing them from meeting their basic needs.
This is why Dr. Pinderhughes spoke to the Safe MKE symposium on the need to take a public health approach to reduce viоIеncе in Milwaukee. This podcast is the recording of his keynote speech to the diverse collection of leaders from community, business, faith, government, and health sectors who attended the event, with the goal to take action on improving conditions in Milwaukee.