UNCW ‘filling in the gaps' on youth violence problem - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

UNCW 'filling in the gaps' on youth violence problem

Community leaders from across the area flocked to UNCW classrooms Wednesday. (Source: WECT) Community leaders from across the area flocked to UNCW classrooms Wednesday. (Source: WECT)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

Community leaders from across the area flocked to UNCW classrooms Wednesday to talk about youth violence.

The university hosted a series of meetings on campus, where several organizations met to discuss the next steps in a fight against youth violence in the Port City.

UNCW officials said the goal Wednesday was to help ‘fill in the gaps' as far as finding what still needs to be done to prevent youth violence. Officials asked that different organizations take the initiative on different topics.

"Everybody's already doing some fantastic work. What more could we be doing? What do we need to fill in the gaps? What's not being done? That's what the purpose of these follow-up meetings will be," explained Donyell Roseboro, UNCW Associate Professor in the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations, and Secondary Education.

The four topics of discussion at Wednesday's meeting were prevention/intervention, education, law enforcement relationships, and job creation for young people in the community.

Representatives from organizations like the Wilmington Housing Authority, Dreams of Wilmington and the Safer Schools Task Force all convened at various meetings on campus.

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said Wednesday that he is working on bringing in more diversity training for his deputies in an effort to improve relations between law enforcement and the city's youth.

Across campus, local educators brainstormed ideas to bring more mentors and father figures to urban neighborhoods.

"We need to identify those organizations that are already there to provide that male support and if they're not as many today or they need more resources then we need to know to that as a community so that we can provide that support," Roseboro said.

Officials are working to establish deadlines and outline a plan of communication to keep the violence prevention momentum going.

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