TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — At first glance, you might see a table full of twenty-somethings. But many of these young activists are gun violence survivors.
"Gun violence is more than just, you know, something that we talk about every once in a while when a mass shooting happens, it's an epidemic," said Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence organizing intern Alyssa Ackbar.
After surviving the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, teens like Aalayah Eastmond have made it their mission to stop the gun violence that all too often affects young minorities.
"So I think having these conversations about issues that impact black youth disproportionately like gun violence and police violence are really important because we need to pay black youth at the core of the conversation, at the front line of the conversation," said Eastmond, Team Enough national administrator and executive council organizer.
According to data compiled bymappingpoliceviolence.org, Black people were 28 percent of those killed by police in 2020 despite being only 13 perecnt of the population.
FAMU Public relations student Zion Kelly said the pain behind those numbers is what brought him to the table.
"Even if it's not in a fatal way, people are still abused or really just taken advantage of because of the color of their skin," said Kelly.
And it's not just all talk.
"I know there's a lot of work that needs to be done," Kelly said.
Organizers encourage all attendees to keep the conversation going and work with local lawmakers towards policy change and police accountability.
"Having these conversations to start with, it's a start, and it allows us to start thinking of better ways to serve our community."
The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence and their daughter organization Team Enough also plan to take their roundtable to Orlando, Parkland and Miami.