“’I’m not anti-gang; I’m anti-violence.”
Labels and taxonomies can be limiting.
Talia Wright-Rivera runs SOAR Boston (Street Outreach, Advocacy and Response), focused on decreasing gang-related violence in the city by building relationships with high-risk young people.
Talia helped us understand the grieving that happens after a shooting. She described how friends of the dead gather at the scene with candles, liquor, and marijuana to linger and mourn. She pointed out that “ganging” is normal: sports teams, clubs, groups of friends — most folks have the desire to be part of something bigger, to connect through ritual, uniform, or shared signals.
Talia reminds us that labels and taxonomies can be limiting.
The project: Working with Boston’s Department of Public Safety, Agncy mapped what happens after a shooting in the city—a response that cuts across departments and organizations, bridging city and state agencies, local non-profits, and hospitals.