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Youth advocates brainstorm ways to lessen gun violence in West Memphis

The group plans to make flyers for their upcoming events to post around West Memphis, and on social media to get the word out.

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — It is National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and with all the recent shootings, it hits home for many, especially the youth.

Joy Nance, a young advocate for improvement in the her community, and a group of other young advocates at Philadelphia Outreach Ministries have taken matters into their own hands to get others involved in hopes of lowering crime.

The group put together a list of activities and events that accommodate young people of all ages, in hopes of making them feel seen and heard and preparing them for life experiences

“We are the solution, not the problem, but when you continue to kill each other, especially in the Black community, we dwindle when we should be coming together,” Nance said.

She added that she cannot stand to keep seeing and hearing about the senseless murders.

“If we don’t have anything for us to do, why would they come back? Which is a major issue in West Memphis,” Nance stated.

RELATED: Investigators learn about gunfire at Byhalia High School after shell casing was found

Tamyia Weatherspoon said she wants to see her peers, and those who will come after her have a successful outcome in life.

“I have younger siblings and I have a child, so this is really a passion because it’s people that I care about, but also people in the world we care about,” Weatherspoon stated.

The group plans to make flyers for their upcoming events to post around West Memphis and on social media.

Weatherspoon said the goal is to give people more options than they think they have, starting with movie nights, game tournaments, frequent field trips.

 “Getting them in church and something to do so that they’re not in the streets…so that they’re not resulting in gang or gun violence,” Weatherspoon said.

RELATED: Opinion | Let's demand responsible gun ownership again | Richard Ransom

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