- How does the computer model work?
- Where do you get your assumptions from for the computer model? Everyone has opinions about youth violence; how can I be sure that the people you talked to actually know what's going on?
- How can I be sure that the Project has sufficiently considered the academic understanding of youth violence?
- How can I be sure that the Project has sufficiently considered the community's understanding of youth violence?
- How can I be trained to use the model?
- When can I see the flight simulator and test drive the system dynamics computer model?
- Where can I learn more about the neighborhoods involved with the Project?
- Who are your partners?
- How can I partner with you and/or contribute financially to the Youth Violence Systems Project?
1. How does the computer model work?
A computer model takes what we know about youth violence and expresses it in the kind of formal, mathematical terms that a computer can understand. The computer can then process the logic behind our assumptions and give us the results that our assumptions will lead to. This allows us to test whether our assumptions really lead to the consequences that we expect. It also allows us to explain what is known about youth violence in a visual and interactive way that a wide range of people will understand. However, the model is only as good as the assumptions that go into it: if our assumptions are not based on reality, then the results of the model won't be either. Because of this, we have taken a great deal of care as we create the model to gather its assumptions from people most closely connected to youth violence.
2. Where do you get your assumptions from for the computer model? Everyone has opinions about youth violence; how can I be sure that the people you talked to actually know what's going on?
The Project has tried to compile every possible piece of useful information regarding youth violence, and to ensure that we keep only information that is firmly grounded in how things actually work. Our research team has scoured libraries and academic journals for everything that researchers have discovered, a large part of which can be found in our research section. The problem of youth violence has been intensely studied by academics for decades, using surveys and statistical analysis to ground their arguments in reality. While there is still disagreement on a number of questions (such as the deterrent effects of capital punishment), we have taken into consideration the academic consensus that exists. The Project also has a team of advisors from fields as diverse as public health, criminal justice, youth work and urban ministry, who contribute their lifetime of expertise to the Project's knowledge. This diversity of experience ensures that no single perspective dominates the model's assumptions. But the primary contributor to our knowledge and to the computer model's assumptions is the community itself. We have organized dozens of meetings and listening sessions with local youth (including active gang members), adults and staff members working in youth serving agencies to record their understanding of how youth violence works in their own experience. We want the police to be talking to public health officials, and academics to be talking to community members and gang members. We believe that if everyone can be brought into the same room and every voice can be heard, then we can truly reach a deeper understanding of how youth violence works and how it can be stopped.
3. How can I be sure that the Project has sufficiently considered the academic understanding of youth violence?
For a sample of some of the sources our research team has compiled for the Project, see our research factsheet. For a more in-depth look, we have listed most of our sources in our literature review. You can also read what some of the top experts in Boston's academic community have said about Boston's history of youth violence here.
4. How can I be sure that the Project has sufficiently considered the community's understanding of youth violence?
For more about the ways that the Project is firmly dependent on the community's perspective, see our community page.
5. How can I be trained to use this model?
In the coming months, there will be model launch events hosted by community partners to learn more about the youth violence systems model. YVSP in collaboration with Boston Capacity Tank will also be offering day long trainings for youth workers every month from March through June. Check our News page for further training opportunities. If your organization or institution would like to request training on the youth violence systems model please contact Sam Kim, Project Manager, at email@example.com
6. When can I see the Flight Simulator and test drive the system dynamics computer model?
We will post a link to the Flight Simulator as soon as possible. Please keep an eye on the news section for updates!
7. Where can I learn more about the four neighborhoods involved with the project?
Our research team has compiled a great deal of information about each neighborhood. Click on any of the links below for information about each design team process, the neighborhood's history, demographics, maps of each neighborhood and more. You can also access all of this information compiled into 40-page books for each neighborhood called Neighborhood Briefing Documents. The website features Neighborhood Briefing Documents available in PDF format for each of the four target neighborhoods. If you are interested in purchasing hard copies of the Neighborhood Briefing Documents please contact Sam Kim, Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
South End/Lower Roxbury
8. Who are your partners?
The Youth Violence Systems Project is being undertaken by Emmanuel Gospel Center in partnership with the Boston Capacity Tank. Members of the Tank's Oversight Committee include representatives of these organizations:
Emmanuel Gospel Center
Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston
Boston TenPoint Coalition
High Risk Youth Network
United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
9. How can I partner with you and/or contribute financially to the Youth Violence Systems Project?
The Youth Violence Systems Project relies heavily on its partners to make strides forward in the field of youth violence prevention. There are many ways partners can be involved, from providing funding to helping identify and recruit residents and community agencies. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact Sam Kim, Project Manager, at email@example.com