NAACP Memphis branch emergency meeting to combat growing violence

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 11:20 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:00 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -The Memphis NAACP held an emergency town hall meeting Monday night in the wake of Memphis rapper Young Dolph’s murder.

About a dozen groups have committed to collaborating on short and long-term solutions to stop violence in the community

NAACP President Van Turner says collaboration is key to helping curb violent crime.

”Too much is on the line, so that’s why we’ve convened a group of panelists to speak,” said Turner.

Heal the Hood founder, LaDell Beamon, shared how their program meets people where they are to bring out their purpose in productive settings.

“You have all these different gang members who’ve brought their parents out,” said Beamon.

Families Matter Memphis Executive Director, Carol Jackson, says teaching healthy co-parenting in broken homes is part of the solution.

”We understand that young boys, young men need the mentoring, education, the enhancement that other men can give them,” Jackson said.

Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) is prepared to activate its 80 nonprofits and labor unions to help stop conflict before it turns to violence.

”We have to put supports in schools. Kids need from nurses to counselors to social workers. Right now, we are way below the ratios the nation recommends,” said Syana Watkins with MICAH.

Legacy of Legends executive director, Charlie Caswell, says vestiges of slavery must be addressed.

”If we don’t understand that our blueprint is made up of what happened to us and not just looking at what’s wrong with us and what’s wrong with our community,” said Caswell.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer says basic needs, such as combating poor transportation and food deserts, are critical.

”I don’t believe we can solve gun violence without solving the economic crisis at hand,” she said. “Too many people are on the streets, too many people are hungry, and unless we can do something about that, we’re going to keep having these conversations.”

There were several more speakers.

Turner says he’ll take what was said Monday night to craft three feasible action steps. That discussion will happen on Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

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