Community meeting

Community meeting sparks recommendations to reduce gun violence in city | Richmond Free Press

Affordable daycare. Better relationships with recreation and parks and schools. Summer job for teens. Mental health and first aid training.

These are some of the recommendations offered by approximately 60 community residents, government officials and representatives of non-profit organizations who came together Feb. 24 in a call to action to stem the tide of gun violence in Richmond.

Called Community Action Partnership for Violence Prevention, the meeting was hosted by School Board member Cheryl L. Burke and City Council President Cynthia I. Newbille, who both represent the 7th District, where DaShawn A Cox was shot and killed shortly before 5 p.m. on February 17 outside Ashley Oaks apartments on Jennie Scher Road in Fulton.

The meeting, held at the Powhatan Community Center, was scheduled as the first in a series of conversations aimed at getting community feedback on how best to stem the violence and support the community.

“It’s really important to have a meeting like this to be proactive in creating more youth programs for gun violence prevention and safety training,” RaTwoine “Rosetta” Fields, Founder and co-owner of HolisticAgency, which provides medical, defensive and mental services. health support.

Fields said the agency is working to reduce the contagion of gun violence, especially among young people in Richmond.

“We need more youth centers so that (young people) are not on the streets,” added Holistic Agency co-owner Eniyan Sankara. “It’s easy for young people to get a gun in Virginia, an open transportation state.”

Conversations among the assembled group reached a raucous din as ideas were discussed in small groups and their recommendations, based on various age categories, were written on bulletin boards attached to the walls around the room.

Recommendations for the 1-9 year old category included operating 24-hour community centres; establish a program to send a child to camp; requiring school uniforms and making schools year-round; and teach young people social and social skills as well as life skills.

For teens and young adults up to age 22 and older, recommendations included teaching budgeting skills and implementing employment and second-chance programs.

Information and recommendations gathered at the meeting are being compiled for electronic distribution and will be used to guide future meetings, organizers said.