Local groups held a virtual discussion Thursday to find solutions for preventing gun violence in the Winston-Salem community.

Presentations from several nonprofits highlighted different initiatives to address socioeconomic issues and other root causes of crime.

The Women's Gun Violence Prevention Coalition and Action4Equity led the community conversation. 

The conversations surrounded equity and how local grassroots efforts can help address the growing crime problem. These include a program to help mentor youth and work with families who have been impacted by gun violence. 

“Everyone is tired. We are tired of going around the mulberry bush doing the same thing over and over," says Kellie Easton with Action4Equity.

Easton says they need more resources, funding, and lots of other people getting involved.

“Community knows what community needs, so we truly believe that now is the time that our voices are heard and we want to help create that table and make sure that community is there driving the solutions,” she says.

Another possible program being considered is a global initiative known as Cure Violence. City and county leaders are currently in the assessment phase.

"Both Forsyth County and the city are committed to providing funds to implement the Cure Violence model if it is recommended for our community," says Deputy Forsyth County Manager Shontell Robinson. "It's not the solution to everything, but it's certainly something different for our community. We know something different has to occur so that we can see better outcomes." 

The county is also reviewing applications from local groups for federal COVID relief funding to help create gun violence prevention programs in hard-hit communities.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

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