DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — With deadly shootings on the rise in Durham, a new initiative called “One Thousand Black Men,” is calling for immediate action so that no more lives will be lost.
Dozens of Black city leaders, ministers, and mentors met on the steps of the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham on Friday to hold officials and the community accountable for the recent spike in crime.
This comes as two Black young men were shot and killed in a parking lot at North Carolina Central University on Saturday night.
“Parents have to bury their children this weekend, no parent should ever have to bury their child, that’s due to the gun violence in our community,” said Omar Beasley, chair emeritus for the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.
Deadly shootings in Durham are up 32 percent this year, as 32 people have been shot and killed.
The group is calling for more funding from the state for nonprofits that focus on ending poverty and preventing gun violence.
The group also called on people to reach out to young Black men in their communities and to serve as mentors for them, as they said this is the first step to preventing future violence.
“We are in a state of emergency,” said Leonardo Williams, a member of the group and candidate for Ward III of Durham City Council. “There might be a child that gets killed tonight, that’s the reality we’re living in and as a Black man, that is the state of emergency that we’re living in.”
The group began in Durham last year, and the goal is to recruit 1,000 members as they hope to build up their movement.
For more information, go to their website.