City helps promote awareness campaign to get kids to Speak Up and save lives

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the City of Minneapolis launched today a powerful, new public awareness campaign in concert with National Youth Violence Prevention Week, April 7-11. The campaign, called SPEAK UP, educates students about the important roles they can play in preventing violence, and includes public service announcements, posters and poster contests, interactive BuzzFeed-style quizzes, pledge drive and resource/activity kits.

With attackers telling other people about their intentions in advance in four out of five school shootings, a powerful, new national public service announcement, called “Signs,” will creatively emphasize the importance of recognizing and reporting these very threats and other warning signs of violence. The PSAs, which will be broadcast on network and cable television stations and posted on Facebook and YouTube beginning April 7th, will direct students to make anonymous reports about “signs of violence” by calling the hotline, 1-866-SPEAK-UP. Since the hotline was established in 2002, nearly 40,000 calls have been received. 

As part of Minneapolis’s campaign against youth violence, SPEAK UP materials, including posters and resource/activity kits, will be distributed in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong to middle and high schools across the city. Students also will be given orange SPEAK UP wallet cards and wristbands, printed with the hotline number, to serve as both a reminder to “speak up” as well as a means of showing their commitment to ending violence. Outdoor advertising will be featured on buses and billboards throughout the city beginning Monday, April 7th and continue throughout the month.

The resource/activity kits will also be available at www.speakup.com, along with stories of students who have spoken up; the TV, print and online ads; and other activities. The PSAs are available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/BradyCampaign.

SPEAK UP is a part of Minneapolis’ Blueprint for Action to Prevent Youth Violence, a multi-year multi-faceted strategy that works to engage the entire community to address the root causes of youth violence. Since its adoption in 2008, the strategy has focused on identifying new opportunities for early intervention, expanding programming for Minneapolis youth and providing the tools and resources needed for young people to build a successful future.   

Published Apr 3, 2014