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Pushing for more youth engagement, Tallahassee Urban League looks for new ways to end gun violence

Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-25 08:58:36-04
  • Tallahassee Urban League is pushing for more youth engagement to end gun violence.
  • They're rallying young people, neighbors and law enforcement at an upcoming forum on Tuesday, March 26.
  • Watch the video to find out more about the forum and to hear from youth in my neighborhood.


A push to bring more young people to the table to discuss how to end gun violence. That's a focus for one organization in my community. Finding out how the Tallahassee Urban League is looking for new ways to confront this issue.

Change begins with open conversation.

"If we have a dialogue with our young people, find out what they see, what they think," said Curtis Taylor, President and CEO of Tallahassee Urban League.

Taylor said young neighbors here have a unique insight.

"They know everything that's happening in their community," said Taylor.

That's why one of their Community Police Relations and Justice Circle meetings has a new focus.

"This forum here, we'll have 60-70% of our participants, will be our young people," said Taylor.

That includes Kenyon Barber.

"Growing up in Tallahassee, I see a lot of people that I grew up with that die from gun violence," said Barber.

Barber said he's seen a lot of people fall into this issue.

"It shouldn't be that way," said Barber.

Barber explained why he thinks youth are more interested in guns now

"Youth are really influenced by what they see," said Barber.

He said that's often in movies and television shows.

According to the latest data from law enforcement, in the last 6 months, Tallahassee Police Department have responded to at least 31 shooting incidents with injury, and at least 69 shootings incidents without injury. The Leon County Sheriff's Office has responded to 38 shooting incidents.

In the Northwest Tallahassee neighborhood, in the last 6 months, LCSO responded to 7 shooting incidents in zip code 32304 and 3 shooting incidents in zip code 32303. In the last year, TPD have responded to 40 shootings in 32303 and 63 shootings in 32304.

Taylor said the meeting will encourage neighbors to talk with Tallahassee Police Department and Leon County Sheriff's Office who are supporting the forum.

"Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once," said Taylor, "but our citizens and our youth are on every street and they know exactly what's going on."

Taylor send out the following discussion questions on the press release about the forum which can be found below.

Taylor said what makes this forum different is the focus on youth engagement. Taylor said many will be there at their next meeting that will be held at Springfield Community Center on Tuesday March 26, from 5:30pm to 7pm. Neighbors can also attend on Zoom via the details below.


1. How can we build a closer relationship with law enforcement to build the trust needed to work collaboratively as a community to address Gun Violence and other Violent crimes?

2. How can we protect ourselves from becoming a victim of violent crime?

3. What can we do as a community to address violent crime?

4. Have you or your family been a victim of Gun Violence or any other violent crime?


Meeting ID: 830 471 8336
Passcode: 202020