Mission: Barrios Unidos/United Neighborhoods of Northern Virginia is a multicultural organization that works with youth to prevent youth violence and gang activity. It is a growing movement of former gang members, community leaders, church people, educators, government agencies, and police. The mission of Barrios Unidos/United neighborhoods is a spiritual one, to bring peace to the community by first bringing peace to the individual. We do this through cultivation of Leadership skills, community service and economic development. The National Coalition of Barrios Unidos began in the violent streets of urban California in 1977. The coalition was founded by grassroots Chicano Community organizers from northern and southern California who saw a need to deal with the growing problems plaguing barrios, primarily youth violence. Barrios Unidos of Northern Virginia was formalized on November 17, 1995. The Uniqueness of Barrios Unidos/United Neighborhoods lies in its transformational approach. Barrios Unidos/United Neighborhoods offers hope by teaching youth positive resiliency, and by utilizing adults and older youth who have themselves experienced and overcome the challenges young people face. We believe that drawing upon the resources of adults and older youth who have made it out of the "street life" assist youth in choosing life affirming behavior, positive self esteem, constructive goals, supportive community and cultural pride The "Four Pillar" of Barrios Unidos 1. Developing Self-Discipline and Personal Responsibility Through Character Development. 2. Empowering the Individual Through cultivation of leadership skills 3. Building Community through service and Outreach 4. Promoting Economic Development through Economic Opportunity
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