New Website: The GreatVine

Posted by on July 28, 2006

[posted from Neighbors On Line Philadelphia listserv]

The Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia Campaign has launched a new website to promote positive stories about Philadelphia youth and young adults. Dubbed the “GreatVine,” the new, user-friendly site,, helps spread the word about youth who are making a difference in their schools, neighborhoods and communities.

Counteracting negative images and stereotypes about today’s youth is a primary focus of the GreatVine. Residents can nominate local youth who are standing up against violence, making a positive difference in their community, or serving as great role models for younger peers. Essays, raps, poems and video & audio clips can all be submitted to tell the “other side of the story.” An independent review panel will make the final selections for publication.

Kyle Winkfield, a pioneering member of Project Fresh Start, Tastykake’s new inner city entrepreneurship program, is the focus of the inaugural GreatVine feature. Only 20 years old, he has purchased and operates his own distribution route, and is now in business for himself full-time.

The GreatVine website is part of a multi-faceted, public health initiative to end youth violence in Philadelphia by 2016. Efforts target parents and care- givers of today’s “hip-hop generation,” the broader community of Philly adults, and youth ages 14-21. It builds on the momentum of this unique citywide campaign, launched earlier this year, by promoting the vital role of youth and young adults in helping to prevent violence in Philadelphia. “It’s important to develop a corps of youth leaders to tackle violence–since they are often the ones most affected,” said MEE President Ivan Juzang. “The GreatVine gives young people an additional forum to talk about the issues that are important to them, using their own language and style.”

Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans helped secure $16 million in funding to support the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia Initiative, in response to rising gun and youth violence in the city. He convened a cross section of state legislators, law enforcement officials and community leaders to begin a dialogue about effective strategies to prevent violence, not just to respond to it from a criminal justice perspective. MEE Productions Inc., a Philly-based communications firm, designed both the website and the related social marketing campaign to increase citywide awareness, influence attitudes and change community norms related to youth violence.

++ In a few sentences, what is the GreatVine?
–It’s a site created for the sole purpose of honoring Philadelphia youth. We hear too much about what our young people are doing wrong and not nearly enough about what they are doing right.

–It’s a place to spread a positive vibe, to talk about youth who are doing great things in their community, particularly about making our city better and safer.

1) Take the time to learn more about the Blueprint for a Safer Philadelphia Initiative.

2) 888-570-BLUE: A toll-free campaign info; provides referrals to hundreds of local campaign partners that offer relevant services and programs to both adults and youth.

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