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\ Community Violence Intervention Team (CVIT)The Community Violence Intervention Team (CVIT), comprised of violence-impcated individuals, community members, Board of Commissioner representatives and other officials, has been working since 2021 to develop and roll out a plan to end gun violence in Washtenaw. One of the nationally-recognized, 14 recommendations adopted by the Board of Commissioners was to create a remembrance mural for the community to acknowledge and memorialize those lost to gun violence.
As a part of the community violence intervention efforts, a memorial mural has been installed in Ypsilanti. The mural, a black rose, is reminecint of the poem "The Rose the Grew from the Concrete" by Tupac Shakur. While the black rose is a symbol of mourning, it is also a sympbol of hope and optimism. The mural features the names of over 40 young people who have lost their lives to gun violence in Washtenaw County. The memorial mural was designed by a local, Ypsilanti Community Schools' student. Young people were also compensated to help a local artist, Curtis Wallace of The Be Creative Studio, to install the piece on the southern wall of The Corner Health Center. Washtenaw County My Brother's Keeper helped to organize the project with the support of commuity members, families impacted by gun violence, the Corner Health Center and Washtenaw County.
While the Washtenaw County Sheriff's office has an 87% homicide case closure rate, that work does not prevent violence or the trauma that families experience as a result of the loss cause by gun violence. The mural is intended to be a neutral space for healing, rememberance and peace-making. The site may serve as a place for introspectiion and reflection or a place to talk out conflict. It also adds meaning to the growing number of community-based murals throughout the area.
The public is invited and ENCOURAGED to attend the unveiling of "The Memorial Mural" on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 10 am at Corner Health. Breakfast will be provided and all are welcome.