Forum held for teens and young adults who are impacted by gun violence in the city
SOUTH BEND, Ind -- Kids and grieving families came together at the Century Center in South Bend, wanting to provide more than just prayer and vigils but actually talk through the trauma that people experience after losing someone to gun violence.
A safe space for Sunday for Michiana's youth to talk about how they've all been impacted by recent violence.
"This right here is entitled house and it stands for time and a place for healing, for organization, for unity, for building solutions, and for empowerment. That’s what our young people need," said Event Coordinator Kintae Lark.
The message was not only to stop the violence but lo learn how to be proactive instead of reactive.
After a recent prayer service related to gun violence, Kintae Lark says he planned the event in just eight days out of a sense of urgency.
"We have to do more because prayer visuals and thins like that are fine we need those. However, youth and young adults beyond our prayers, beyond our conversation, they need more. A time to process," said Lark.
The community showed up for the event on short notice to be there for one another and heal.
"Come to these events, give us solutions, help us provide information for us to be able to express love and empowerment to the children and get them out here so that way they can have more in their city of what they need," said attendee and youth tutor Kyla Henderson.
"Just wanted to make a change through the community you know. It’s a lot of black males dying and not really having anybody to talk through that. To have a person to lean their head on," said attendee Deandre Coleman.
Whether they came out to talk or listen, Kintae says this was about the next generation.
"We can sit back and continue to watch violence take place or we can choose to do something different. We can choose to fight back and we don’t necessarily fight back with marches and with poster-boards. Sometimes we have to do something that’s a little bit more tangible," said Lark.