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Increasing The Peace

The Stairstep mission is to reignite and sustain a spirit of community among African Americans. Our quest for wellness requires that we confront the violence perpetrated on and within our community as a presenting issue, while we aggressively engage the root issues that rob our long-term peace. We perceive the causal factors to be:

  • Community connection to our disaffected youth has deteriorated
  • Lack of economic opportunity
  • The trauma of the violence-grief-revenge cycle at work among us

Through the African American Church network (HWU) and community partners such as the Minneapolis Urban League, Emerge, Sabathani Community Center, and the Association of Black Psychologists, we are deploying a four-pronged offensive to realize peace in our community:

  • An aggressive intervention strategy directed towards youth most likely to be engaged in violent activities
  • De-stigmatization of and connection to GED and adult diploma opportunities
  • A meaningful effort to secure and make available job opportunities for young African Americans
  • Increased community accessibility to grief, trauma, and mental health services

The Belief Bowl/The Growth Mind Set

A clear definition of the “achievement gap” has been offered by our fellow villager, Eric Mahmoud, in his book Best in Class: How We Closed the 5 Gaps of Academic Achievement.  He reveals that there is not just some vague gulch, but rather a combination of 5 Gaps™ that confound the education of our youth: leadership, teaching, preparation, time, and belief.

We ♡ Community

We concluded that restoration of a spirit of community requires intentional approaches to encourage people to act as if they believe they belong together.


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