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Brother Carl Hardrick Institute opens in Hartford to support at-risk youth

Brother Carl Hardrick.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
Community activist Carl Hardrick speaks at the grand opening ceremony of The Brother Carl Hardrick Institute in Hartford.

In Hartford, a new center is opening to help at-risk youth avoid guns and other forms of violence.

The Brother Carl Hardrick Institute honors the work of longtime resident and community activist Carl Hardrick.

Joann Price, a co-chair of the Institute, said it will support both immediate and long-term goals to reduce gun violence in Hartford.

“It has meant a tremendous amount to the community,” Price said. “We've been able to bring the Brother Carl Institute to the broader community so that everybody understands how important it is for us to work together to solve some very specific problems.”

Hardrick, who has worked with residents and law enforcement to reduce the amount of shootings and other violence in Hartford and across Connecticut for over 50 years, said the ceremony added a special meaning in light of recent shootings across the country.

“When you look at what’s happening and you look at where people are and you look at what people are doing throughout the country, it seems like they’ve been taught to hate,” Hardrick said. “So, it’s now about, 'How do we teach them to love and how do we teach them that they need each other?'”

The community will honor Hardrick on Saturday with a block party that will feature live music, food and a tour of the Institute inside the Wilson-Gray YMCA on Albany Avenue.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.