HAMPTON,Va. (WAVY) - The death of a 16-year-old at a Hampton carnival last month has sparked a movement in the city.
Ralphael Davis Junior was shot and killed on his way home from the Coliseum carnival. Since then, dozens of residents and city officials have gathered ideas on how to address the issue of youth violence in Hampton Many concerned citizens also came out to speak up about ways to stop youth violence. That discussion has spawned a new group, called the Community Action Coalition.
"The overarching themes we have heard have been the need for more parental involvement, more programming for young people, and young people having more of a say about what kinds of programs they want to be involved in," said Chair of the Community Action Coalition Reverend Steve Brown. "We've also heard young people say there's nothing to do in the summer."
Brown said the coalition wants to turn the community feedback into actual programs and events to curb youth violence.
"We're asking church groups to do more for young people. We're asking our youth to be involved because our young people know where the trouble spots are," Brown said.
Brown said the Coalition will be comprised of two parts. The first part will show people how to get the most of the resources and programs Hampton already has to offer. The second part is where residents come in.
"One person can't do this," Brown said. "This effort will be done with hundreds of volunteers, business persons, churches, grassroots groups, our using fraternities and sororities, and using our school system," Brown said.
The coalition will seek to tackle everything from bullying to providing job skills for teenagers. Browns also said the coalition will try to form a network of people whose goal it is to see children succeed.
"We want to bring the villagers back to the community," Brown said. "It takes a whole village to raise a child, so we're asking the villagers to come back to the community."
In the coming weeks, the coalition will have a follow up meeting and will set out five to six initiatives to focus on.
If you are interested in getting involved or need assistance, call the Hampton City 311 line or
call 757-727-6311. Be sure to leave your name, number, and services requested.
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