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Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality

Research

GRASP

GRASP:  Gang rescue & support project

GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project) is a peer-run, intervention program that works with youth who are at-risk of gang involvement or are presently active in gangs, helps families of gang victims, and serves as a youth advocate. GRASP works so well because it is primarily run by ex-gang members who broke free of the gang life-style and turned their lives around. The staff understands how difficult it is to make this transition and the challenges facing youth who do it. Established in 1991 after a tragic 'drive-by' shooting death of a teen, GRASP has evolved into a highly respected and successful program of Metro Denver Partners, a non-profit organization, that for over 45 years has helped kids to better futures through one-on-one mentoring.  IRISE Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Johnny Ramirez is working with GRASP to research outcomes for youth participating in GRASP programming for the 2019-2020 academic year.  

GRASP's Approach—La Cultura Cura
La Cultura Cura is a transformative health and healing philosophy that recognizes that within an individual's, families and community's authentic cultural values, traditions and indigenous practices exist the pathway to healthy development, restoration and life long well being (National Compadres Network, 2000).

La Cultura Cura Framework is an indigenous healing centered process that empowers young people through a teachings, curriculum, and ceremonies that seek to holistically address the intergenerational pain and trauma experienced by Communities of Color; and most importantly provides strategies and practices that supports movement toward a healing journey.
• Acknowledgement
• Understand
• Integration
• Movement: "Transforming the trauma into medicine."

Transformational Healing, is a method for healing and healthy development which is inextricably linked to restoring one's true cultural identity as the foundation of well-being for individuals, families, communities and society alike. It employs a multigenerational process of learning and/or remembering one's true and positive cultural values, principles, customs, and traditions (Wisdom Keepers Summit, 2015)

Key: There needs to be a paradigm shift in engaging in Restorative Justice, youth development and trauma-informed practices toward a holistic indigenous healing centered approach that focuses on transformational healing outcomes. GRASP's approach and programming is on the forefront of indigenous healing centered youth work here in Denver and across the U.S.