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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Teens Against Killing Everywhere (TAKE) are urging their age group to take a survey. 

“Our target age group is 16-24 and at university the target age group is the same,” Executive Director of TAKE Vickie Kimmel said. “So, it gives them the opportunity to share information among themselves and each other from different vantage points. Whether it’s culturally, education levels or just interaction. I think it’s important for young people to talk to young people.”   

The group will use the data to determine how to combat violence in the community. 

“They’re looking at qualities data analysis,” SIUE Director of Successful Communities Collaborative Connie Frey Spurlock said. “Some of those questions had opportunities for feedback that folks can give back. So, we have a student working on that. We have another student working on mapping locations of spaces they didn’t feel safe in or spaces they value, assets in the community.” 

Monday afternoon, members of TAKE had a meeting with the head of SIUE’s Successful Communities Collaborative to talk about taking action in the community. 

“Currently we are building a plan to try and attack, for lack of a better word, three separate types of violence and build steps to make those things happen,” TAKE Program Manager Shannon Anderson said. “Then submit it to the Illinois criminal justice information authority.  And hopefully, they like it and take it to the next level so we can make some of those things come to fruition.” 

The data collected will be used to help write grants and create programs for East St. Louisans 16 to 35 years of age. 

“Trying to use that data to inform a prevention plan,” Frey Spurlock said. “What are the respondents saying about the causes of violence they see?  What are the respondents saying about what could be or what interventions could be effective?  What are the solutions from their perspective?”