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Local organization holds 6th biennial anti-violence conference

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Putting an end to violence. That’s the message Mamas Against Violence continues to spread across South Bend.

Saturday the organization hosted their 6th Biennial Anti-Violence Conference at Navarre Middle School.

This is the organization’s 15th year of supporting and educating the community.

Today’s conference theme was Building Unity for Safer Communities.

The keynote speaker is Bridgette Butler. She has over 15 years of experience in victim’s services and criminal justice issues.

Butler is currently the Chief of Staff for Common Justice; where she works with staff to provide services to trauma-informed victims to communities of color.

President of MAV, Bobbie Woods, believes Butler’s message will touch the community as a whole.

“The message is coming together as a community, forming unity among ourselves. From the south side, west side, north side, east side, we need to come together and work together to make our community safer. Until everybody get on board, we’re gonna keep facing what we’re now facing,” Woods said.

The conference was free of charge, and took place from 9 Saturday morning to 4 in the afternoon.

The day of anti-violence was geared toward youth from 6th grade to 12th grade, but all were welcome to attend.

The session was filled with presentations, entertainment, and breakout sessions.

The morning and afternoon sessions featured a range of topics like relationship violence, bullying, and mental health.

“The cause of it all, is to save lives and stop this madness in our community. We’ve lost too many lives to senseless violence, and if we don’t take a stand, we’ll continue to lose those lives. So the cause is simple, let’s stop the violence,” said Woods.

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