COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — A local organization's working to stop the crime in Columbus.
"End The Violence Columbus" (ETV) held a national town hall over the weekend.
Over 40 people logged into the meeting Sunday afternoon. All members of similar groups from across the nation.
They talked about things like intervention, and how they can change the lives of people who live in the "hardest to reach" communities.
"Gun violence is on the rise, these are numbers from Columbus and you can see as of 2017 when we had the first gang summit we had a reprieve, and then in 2019 up until today the trends are increasing," a member of ETV said.
For the last several years, ETV has been gathering gun violence data in the city.
"In Columbus, Black people are 7.8 times more likely to die by gun violence than their white counterparts," another ETV member said.
In 2017, the nonprofit- held a "Safe Passage National Gang Summit." At that summit were people who were once involved in a gang.
Fast forward to this weekend, and those same folks were in this meeting to talk about how their experiences can help educate others.
"35 years ago, I caught a first-degree murder at age 17 was ended up doing 30 years incarcerated," one member, from California, on the call said.
Some feel, more conversations and asking questions will help people go in the right direction.
"Understand what you messed up and the reason why you did it," that member added. "We go out and talk to the youth but half the time they don't even understand why they're doing it and they follow those before them, why are they doing that?"
The majority of the response from attendees was that violence is increasing, especially among younger generations.
The bigger picture for this meeting was to make suggestions on how to effect change, like policing their own communities.
The group agreed that social media and the older generation's influence are big factors.
"You have these 50 years old's who are grandparents to these young kids in the streets and giving them wrong information and misguidance," another group member said.
"If you look at these kids, they're on the internet and they create these situations then they go out to the physical and act them out," another member of the meeting said.
This is just one meeting of what the group hopes will become a trend.
The session ended with assignments to bring to the table at the next meeting in April.
A few were, to bring more faces to the meeting, and any type of numbers to help figure out what specific programs they need in their cities.