100 Black Men of Syracuse Host Gun Violence Discussion 100 Black Men of Syracuse Host Gun Violence Discussion

Town Hall meant to create open dialogue about the gun violence crisis

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The organization 100 Black Men of Syracuse has been in existence in the community for the last 15 years, but this year they are using their organization to speak out against a crisis that is impacting Syracuse. Gun violence and incidents that involved guns have peaked in recent weeks and 100 Black Men of Syracuse decided to take action.

An at large director for the organization, JB McCampbell, said that the summer is an important time to events such as town halls.

“Usually in the summer months, there’s kind of an uptick in gun violence and so we’re trying to hit that off with this town hall,” said McCampbell.

Their hope for this town hall is to create open dialogue about how gun violence can be solved through community feedback through a survey.

The town hall featured panelists of local leaders and community members including: Timothy Jennings Bey, CEO of Street Addiction Institute Inc.; Lateef Johnson-Kinsey, director of the Syracuse Mayor’s office to reduce gun violence; Bennie McDonald, owner, BMD Armed Security, Inc.; and Jawwaad Rasheed, chief accountability officer for the Syracuse Police Department.

After the panel gave their opening remarks and answered some questions from the moderators, the audience was encouraged to ask their own questions. The town hall also allowed attendees to give their thoughts about the Safer Streets Program that Mayor Ben Walsh made public earlier this year. 

To ask the community about their solutions, the organization provided a survey to give their opinions on gun violence.

“One of the things that we have done for the first time is that we’ve attached a survey that we’ve asked the public to to help in terms of coming up or what solutions that they think would be best to deal with gun violence in Syracuse,” McCampbell said.

100 Black Men of Syracuse also works with the youth in Syracuse to help them stay busy in the summer. McCampbell said that this is important so that the youth can find other things to do than to get involved in unsafe situations. 

“I think too many times youth have idle time on their hands and for us, we see that as kind of an opportunity for forces that are not good to come into play. With the education and mentoring programs that we provide, we want to kind of provide something outside of school,” McCampbell said.

More information on future events and town halls with 100 Black Men of Syracuse can be found on their website.

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