Community meeting on gun violence draws local aid groups, organizations
Local aid organizations met Oct. 7 to discuss solutions to increased gun violence in Champaign-Urbana.
The Community Violence Response meeting was hosted by the Champaign County Community Coalition. Organizers said it was a response to the shooting of seventeen year-old Johnathan McPhearson.
Champaign city officials at the meeting said deaths due to gun violence this year have already broken last year’s record: 205 deaths so far compared to 189 deaths all of last year.
Coalition members brought together local groups like Moms Demand Action and the Youth and Family Peer Support Alliance.
These meetings help local aid organizations better understand what those affected by violence need, said Janice Walker, a trauma specialist for the Champaign-Urbana Public Health department.
Gun violence is “starting to become normalized, and many of us refuse for it to be normalized,” Walker said.
Charrice Jones is a student journalist with the Illinois Student Newsroom at Illinois Public Media.