IVRP to Host Panel Discussing 'Stop Snitching' Subculture

Friday, April 9, 2010

PHILADELPHIA (April 9, 2010) - In the city of Philadelphia, the silence of witnesses to obscene crimes too often allows these crimes to continue to endanger communities. On Wednesday, April 14, Saint Joseph’s University and the Institute for Violence Research and Prevention will host a symposium to educate the community about the severe crisis of trust undermining criminal justice institutions. The closing anti-violence event of a series organized by the IVRP for the 2010 academic year, the annual symposium seeks to provide a forum for discussing the breakdown of trust between community residents and members of law enforcement. It will be held in the Haub Executive Center in SJU’s McShain Hall at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s symposium, entitled “Law and Disorder: The Crisis of Trust in the City of Brotherly Love,” brings together a diverse panel of experts and activists to address what’s been called the “stop snitching” phenomenon, a problem that persists in high-crime communities. Maria Kefalas, director of the Institute for Violence Research and Prevention, believes that the spread of the code of silence represents one of the most serious challenges in the city’s fight against violence.

“When you hear young people who are not involved in criminal activity saying that it is just “common sense” not to come forward with information about the most serious crimes, it shakes you to the core. Our city will not be able to function if the next generation has no faith in institutions charged with keeping us safe,” Kefalas says.

Symposium speakers include:

Marc Lamont Hill, Ph. D., associate professor of education at Columbia University. Hill lectures widely on trust in youth cultures.

Black Ice, Philadelphia spoken-word artist and slam poet committed to social justice and race issues.

Rick Frei, Ph. D., associate professor of psychology at the Community College of Philadelphia and director of the Snitching Project, a student-driven research initiative that organizes community outreach and discussion programs.

Patrick J. Carr, Ph. D., associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Carr is noted for his research on the Stop Snitching Movement, youth violence and transitions into adulthood for vulnerable populations.

Daniel Carino, facilitator for the Youth Advocacy Council of Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a group of youths from North Philadelphia that work to inspire change in their communities in the fields of drugs, violence, and education.

The symposium will also feature Point Blank, a short film by the University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia’s V-Media that explores youth violence through interviews with two recent victims of gun violence in Philadelphia. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the IVRP at 610-660-3097.


Media Contact

University Communications, ucomm@sju.edu, 610-660-1222


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