The Open-Minded Debate is a monthly debate session where we discuss issues of importance to the community, which aims to encourage critical thinking through the exchanges of objective dialogue in an open forum with a panel of experts and an audience.
This month’s topic of discussion is “Gang Violence and Knife Crime’ within the Somali Community. The Open-Minded debate hopes to create dialogue and provide a safe space for Somalis to discuss issues of importance to them.
Gang violence within the Somali community over the past few years has drastically increased, many young Somalis – predominantly boys – have become victims and perpetrators of serious gang related crime and violence. Due to numerous factors such as; ,lack of employment, desire for group rewards such as status, identity, self-esteem, broken homes, family members in gang, economic deprivation, feeling unsafe in the neighbourhood, poor school performance and mental health issues.
This month alone there have been three fatal stabbings in London: in Northolt, in the north west, Mile End and Plumsted, in the south-east. one one of them was a young Somali man who have unfortunately lost his lives as a result of that.
We feel that discussions such as this should be encouraged to highlight the causes and the effects of gang related violence and shed light on how it effects the many people involved. We hope to create a better understanding of the underlying issues, we will also be discussing the possible solutions to support vulnerable young Somalis at risk of gang related issues.
Disclaimer: This event will be filmed.