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Dr. King forum addresses violence in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- On a day we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, it is appropriate that the celebration includes a discussion on violence. Several workshops were held at the Century Center in South Bend to address violence in our community and start looking for ways to do something about it.

With the increase in homicides in 2012, violence is a huge public concern.

"Individuals from what I've heard, and those whom I have spoken with, they say they're tired of talking. We need to move to action,” said Karen White, the moderator of the panel.

But that move to action has not had the explosive start some were hoping for.

"Instead of spending 80-90 percent of the time talking about the problem, if we could spend 90 percent of our time talking about the solution; we could solve some of it,” said panel speaker Hardie Blake Jr.

Blake and Karen White are just two community leaders speaking about violence, and solutions to it, at the Martin Luther King Jr Celebration.

"I think that the real solution to being able to handle violence, or the solution to violence is love. Because love is also a choice,” said Blake.

Blake isn't talking about the kind of love you feel for another person, but in how you treat another person.

He says it requires developing personal relationships with people prone to violence and showing them there is another way.

"When you see everybody go praying after some violence or something; the guys that committed it, they're not coming to pray with you. So how do we go to those guys, you've got to, again, take it to the streets; but that takes courage,” said Blake.

Blake says not everyone is wired to do that.

That’s where the city comes in through the pooling of resources, according to white,

"I'm very hopeful that they will come away from the workshop with strategies and that we can begin to address this issue of violence,” said White.

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