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Mercyhurst social work seniors deliver MERCY

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Once again, senior social work majors at Mercyhurst University are responding to concerns about escalating violence in the city they call home, if only temporarily.

The seniors are particularly focused on youth violence, and are the force behind a Movement to Empower, Restore and Cultivate Youth, appropriately tagged MERCY. On Sunday, April 30, from noon to 4 p.m. at Perry Square in downtown Erie, MERCY will host a rally to promote youth wellness. It is free and open to the public.

Food, entertainment, and a variety of activities are planned, including guest speakers who will address the problem of youth violence. Among those on tap are Erie City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Amy Blackman, director of prevention education at the Crime Victim Center of Erie County. Slated to perform are Shok Jordan, Young Skola and Dance Elite. 

“This is an awareness campaign, but the end goal is to do our part in improving the physical, mental and emotional well-being of young people in Erie in an effort to reduce the amount of youth violence in our community,” said student organizer Emily Shanahan. 

Last year, Mercyhurst social work seniors, also concerned about youth violence, produced a documentary, “Let it Begin with Me: Putting an End to Youth Violence in Erie,” which was shown to a packed house at the Collegiate Academy.

In both cases, despite living on a safe and beautiful campus overlooking the city, the students couldn’t discount their neighbors, nor would their social work education let them.

The senior project is overseen by Mercyhurst Social Work Professor Dr. Laura Lewis and Dr. Mandy Fauble. For more information, contact Emily Shanahan at