Community leaders attend conference in DC to learn new ways to prevent gun violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The same week the city grapples with several shootings, a group of community leaders works to find solutions.

Several community organizers met with other agencies in Washington, D.C. to discuss new approaches to address the rise in gun violence.

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Some of the groups on this trip included Lifeline to Success, Streets Ministries, Legacy of Legends CDC and the Shelby Memphis Police Athletic League.

“How can we design a model that helps us in the city of Memphis to work together in a way to using data, using research, and using grassroots organization help them build their capacity that’s in the neighborhood who know these families and know the people who sadly become the shooter in many incidents,” said Charlie Caswell, executive director for Legacy of Legends CDC.

Caswell said they’re working on a more comprehensive approach to helping families affected by gun violence.

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Additionally, he said there’s a push to continue more trauma-informed interventions.

“Really pushing mental health in support in cognitive and emotional health to these individuals, we’re already doing some of it,” said Caswell. “But taking it to another level where we are in the churches, and working with the faith-based community that they understand that it’s not what’s wrong with them but what’s happened to them.”

This was a community-focused trip, so Caswell said there weren’t any city or county elected officials with them.

But he said they’re going to release more details about what they learned and how they will implement those plans in Memphis soon.