Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times (2nd Edition)

Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times (2nd Edition)

Luis J. Rodriguez

Language: English

Pages: 390


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Hearts and Hands focuses on healing through community building. Empowered by thirty years of experience with gangs in Los Angeles and Chicago, Rodríguez offers a unique book of change. He makes concrete suggestions, shows how we can create nonviolent opportunities for youth today, and redirects kids into productive and satisfying lives. And he warns that we sacrifice community values for material gain when we incarcerate or marginalize people already on the edge of society. His drive to dissolve gang influence on kids is as personal as it is societal; his son, to whom he dedicates Hearts and Hands, served more than a decade in prison for gang-related activity. With anecdotes, interviews, and time-tested guidelines, Hearts and Hands makes a powerful argument for building and supporting community life.














chosen policies during the Reagan years, of substantial cuts in community programs, of the worst job loss since the Great Depression, of more police and prisons and few options for recreation, education, or work. He was a boy who had been physically abused, shuttled from one foster home to another, one juvenile facility after another. At every stage of Robert’s young life, he was blocked from becoming all he could be. Yet there was nothing to stop him from getting a gun, using it, and being

“themselves,” to express in their own way their own essence and to do so without being put down. Yet they also want to be accepted and embraced. • Knowledge of what is known and also what is not known, how mystery is part of all life and how life is abound in mystery. Striving to understand these things is vital for many young people; just coming up with “answers” to fill the gaps would end up engendering more mistrust with adults. • Adequate and passable bridges between the past and the future,

them by our words, our actions, our proclamations, and our concerns how much we care about them. They are still in an adaptive stage, which means that we can use all these opportunities (even crisis is opportunity) to assist them in meeting the demands of this stage. The overwhelming majority of children won’t kill or maim. But if they do, God forbid, then we must always maintain the universal principle that there is still room for growth. This is where prevention has its role: From infancy to

“resistance,” “deviate,” “stress,” “dependence,” “inhibition,” “compulsion,” “illusion,” “split,” “tranquilized,” “driven,” “compensation,” “inferiority,” “derange,” “suppression,” “depression,” “repression,” “confusion”—these words have been psychologized and pathologized in the past one hundred fifty years. . . . So Psyche requests the psychologist to remember his calling.81 Hillman has also said that therapy should be “a cell of revolution.”82 This means not aiming for the transformation of a

to support it. Devon, a social worker in the Mexican community, thought it would be a good idea for Antonio to attend a CAPS meeting and perhaps say something about the way police treated the youth in Pilsen. Unfortunately Antonio didn’t let the YSS elders know he was going to such a meeting. He went and, according to Devon, stood up and complained about the dirty police tactics in the community. He also talked about the alleged drug-dealing cop. Devon told me he saw officers with scowls on

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