National Black Violence Conference held in Philadelphia

How can you stop the violence in your neighborhood. Block by block?

Well, one Philadelphia community is organizing, proactively, to stop adding names to the list of victims.

"I get up in the morning look at the news and it's a murder every day," said Dorian Helms. He lives in North Philadelphia in a neighborhood known to the people who live here as "the bad lands". Helms says crime in this neighborhood and other parts of Philly is like unlike any other place he's lived.

"Senseless murders and killing children," he said.

Scenes like this are all too familiar. On the 3100 block of North Sheridan Street recently someone toting an AK-47 opened fire shooting several people.

Jose Maldonado lives a few doors away. He has an 8-year old daughter Naysha and 13-year old son Nazaiah.

"When they see something they already know to go inside of the house," said Maldonado.

The violence in the city is the reason "The Father's Day Rally Committee" will spend this weekend discussing crime in Philadelphia. It's called "The National Black Violence Conference".

"Nationally shootings and homicides are down except in the African American community. Shootings and homicides are up," said Bilal Qayyum, the event organizer. He says the conference will focus on reducing black violence over the next three years.

"Clearly in Philadelphia one of the major issues is really intervention. When you know who potentially will be doing shootings we need to get in those neighborhoods and have dialogue with the potential shooters but we need resources to do that," he said. Qayyum has also gotten people from different cities to attend sessions.
He says one New York community hasn't had a shooting in 600 days and one Chicago community he says has reduced shootings by 30%.

"So there are models that are working in the country. We want to highlight those models and what is being done in New York can maybe work in Philadelphia, Wilmington or work in Washington D.C.," he said.

The conference will be held at Audenried High School in South Philly.

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