Deepest Sympathies

June 7, 2006

Venice, California

Letter to Our Community

S.P.A.R.C. would like to express a deep concern and regret for the violence that has affected our Venice community, leading to the tragic loss of young Agustin Contreras 16yrs old, a Venice High School student. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family in their time of grief.

The crime in our community is a reflection of the violence suffered in many neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles, across the country and in the world. The violence that is perpetuated and the tension that is ignited in our communities, rob us of our perspective and our humanity toward one another. We must contemplate that the violence among our youth is a result of – and obscures – the socio-political issues that are threatening our communities. Instead of retaliating against ourselves let us focus our energies against the real danger in our communities that threaten to divide us, such as discrimination, gentrification, the decline of low-income housing, homelessness, and the lack of opportunity in education. We encourage the student body of Venice High School to heal one another and engage their community in ways that will enlighten, support and promote their well being.

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