12 Dec Education — The Philosophical Kevlar by Stevonte Wood
It is true that social justice cannot be attained through violence, as violence kills what it intends to create. Gun violence is the type of violence that Stevonte Wood advocates against, and does so, through Education. This story is of the gentleman who lives with the trauma of gun violence and believes that education is the only answer to his woes.
Stevonte Wood of Kentucky woefully recalls the day his world turned upside down. The sheer sight of the lives of his mother and brother being claimed by an act of shooting is one that had left him broken for years. Wood says that the impact of gun violence lasted long after the crime tape came down and he struggled with notions of isolation.
Every day, 96 American lives are claimed with guns and hundreds more are shot and injured.
The impact of violence runs deeper than the surface scarring. For those that have felt the sharp sting of a gunshot, the testimonials reflect the fear it sets in beyond that of the pain. The ability to end life in a matter of seconds is an act of pure evil and it takes its toll on the mind. In Woods case, the trauma left him emotionally crippled and paralyzed. 13-year-old and witness to such a brutality, Wood was slowly giving up- he shunned the world. He began giving up on things that were once everything to him. He recollects feeling like the school did not matter, and neither did his friends. This is that trauma that he faced; emotions such as hurt, loneliness, and anger. It did him no good and he set out for change.
Stevonte found solace in counseling and education. He began rebuilding his life and realized that he could be better than his circumstance. He took to educating himself seriously and is now a college graduate with a mission- to pass on his valuable experience with gun violence trauma.
“It was like ‘OK, do I want to retaliate?’ No. Because I want to be someone that people in my community can look up to and relate to.” — Stevonte Wood
Stevonte has pledged his time to be an activist for education through the ‘Peace Centered Alliance’. A project launched by Christopher II X for the children that are victims of gun violence. Children victims of gun violence are called the ‘Invisible Kids’. They are those that haven’t been physically affected by emotionally wounded.
The project believes that education is key to successfully reintegrating with the world as a whole person. The founder believes that there is no other way but through education.
“I’ve seen everything, but education is the only thing we can embrace that doesn’t cost a lot for us to make a real difference.” — Christopher II X
Stevonte is among those that believe the cycle of violence needs to be broken. He’s learned valuable lessons through his education. Trauma can make people do ugly things to themselves and their surroundings and Stevonte wants to be the difference standing in-between the hurt and the ugly action. His effort has taught him to critically consider every decision and think twice – which isn’t the go-to response to those hurting.
This project launches in the coming months and reports of its work will be submitted by the fall. Stevonte and his mission is exactly what those struggling need.
A helping hand and security. He is in every way, the change.
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