Updated 03/11/2013 08:02 AM
Community comes together to "Stop the Violence"
Members of the organization "Stop the Violence" met in Albany Sunday to discuss ways to prevent violence among local youth. And as YNN's Erin Moran tells us, organizers are hoping that by sharing their stories, the community will start to see fewer acts of violence.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- It was a time of remembering and even grieving as people sat together Sunday afternoon to share their stories of death and loss. But talk wasn't the only thing on the agenda.
“We want to let the community know and the youth know that somebody cares. We're not just talking, they've heard enough talk, they need action, they need people to do,” said Ernestine Terrell, a Pastor at Call To Pray Ministries in Albany.
Terrell created the organization "Stop the Violence", which helps to teach youth in the community how to make positive choices and avoid violence before it's too late. She says after officiating services for two young kids murdered in the last four months, she's pursuing the organization's message more aggressively.
“When we're talking about youth, 21 years and younger, their life has not even begun yet…we’ve got to find a solution so that we don't have to cry anymore,” said Terrell.
Roshana McArthur and Stacey Rhodes were also at the meeting on Sunday. Roshana is the mother of Takim Smith, the 21-year old who was killed in a stabbing last month. Stacey is the mother of Tyler Rhodes, the 17-year old who was stabbed to death in Albany back in 2011.
“A lot of the youth are angry and they're retaliating and going against each other whether they're from Uptown, Downtown, Troy, Schenectady, Albany, and it needs to stop,” said McArthur.
“We have to find out the root, we have to get inside, we have to find out what's going on,” said Rhodes.
Both believe that anger is what's driving kids to turn to violence to solve their problems. And they're hoping that by telling their stories, and their sons' stories, more lives can be saved.
“Violence just is not the answer, and if there's anything that we can do to help we're here. Some of the youth needs to know that, 'Wow, there are people who can help and people who care,” said Rhodes.
“It makes me feel real good just to be able to spread the word on how i'm feeling and what i'm going through and what has happened throughout this tragedy from our young people... I mean even the ones that took my son's life because they had to been going through something in order to do a senseless act like that. It was a tragedy and it needs to stop with us,” said McArthur.