Erica Brown

(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

Black Brown Town Hall Held at Ebenezer

Post-Parkland effort to center children of color

Maria Boynton
March 23, 2018 - 4:50 pm

Erica Brown says it is extremely necessary that "our children's voices not get left out of the national conversation around gun violence." With the National Black Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, Brown is in Atlanta for the Urban Gun Violence Town Hall was held Thursday evening at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The panel included gun violence prevention experts working in communities of color across the country. Brown says they highlighted the need to invest in the most effective policies and programs to prevent gun violence in communities most impacted by the daily gun violence epidemic. 

The Urban Gun Violence Town Hall was held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday night. According to Brown, it included the voices of children of color, who are often lost in policy and program development conversations related to gun violence prevention after mass shootings in predominantly suburban communities. "Let's save our children's lives. Let's elevate their voices", Brown says, "the unheard must be heard." 

Many students are expected to participate in the "March for Our Lives" in Atlanta and other U.S. cities this Saturday. 

It was on February 14, 2018, when a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people at Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre has received wall-to-wall media coverage. Yet, Brown says, "black and brown kids get shot and killed every day and nobody's talking about them." She points to violence in the city of Chicago as an example. "July 4th weekend, there was over 100 people shot, and if that ain't a mass shooting, I don't know what is."

Brown, from New York City, credits the National Black Brown Gun Violence Consortium, for a "30 percent decrease" in gun violence in the Big Apple in 2017 (NYT 12/27/17). She says they went out and "interrupted the violence" before it happened. "We talked to the young people, getting the guns out of their hands before they used it as a tool to deal with the trauma that they're facing or to deal with interpersonal violence." She says the groups mediated thousands of incidents in New York, and helped thousands of young people get jobs "so they can heal from the pain that causes them to pick up that gun."