Impact of Gangs

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For the Day of Conversation - Impact of Gangs Impact of Gangs Overview, links to resources and conversation guide for the day of your conversation.
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In the 1980’s, the issue of gangs in America received a great deal of attention - with a focus on the role of gangs in the drug war, dangers to Americans and their impact on youth, in particular. Since that time, there has been less public discussion about gangs - even though they haven’t gone away. It is well established that our criminal justice system is filled with gang members. Have gangs touched your life? Or someone you know? What is it about gangs that they continue to flourish in the most dismal conditions? What we learn about gangs may well assist us in improving our communities.

Rounds/Questions: The Living Room Conversation Starts Here
A Living Room Conversation is designed to flow through 6 rounds; 5 rounds with questions and the closing. During some rounds, each question will be addressed. In other rounds, the multiple questions are intended as conversation starters and you need only respond to the one or two that matter the most to you. In the event the conversation wanders off track, we will refer to this Conversation Guide to get it back on track.

Round One: Getting Started / Why Are We Here?
● What interested you or drew you to this conversation?

Round Two: Core Values
Answer one or more of the following:
● What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
● What would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you “tick”?
● What are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country now and long-term?

Round Three: The Impact of Gangs
Remember that the goal for this Living Room Conversation is for all of us to listen and learn about where we have different opinions and where we have shared interests, intentions and goals. Answer one or more of the following questions:
● Where have gang members or gangs touched your life? What happened?
● What are the elements of gang culture? How does this serve gang members?
● What is the best possible community response to growing gang membership?
● Where is concerns about gangs on your top-10 community focus list? Why?

Round Four: Reflection
Answer one or more of the following questions:
● In one sentence, share what was most meaningful / valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation.
● What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on this topic?
● Has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Round Five: Accomplishment and Next Steps
Answer both of the following questions:
● What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
● Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?

Closing – Thank you! Please complete the feedback form (attached) to help improve Living Room Conversations.