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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Silence the Violence attendees reflect on youth and gang violence in Columbia

By Ann Elise Taylor, Laura Kebede
April 28, 2012 | 8:00 p.m. CDT
Attendees at the Columbia Community Non-Violence Initiative's Silence the Violence offer a variety of solutions to end violence and weigh in on youth and gang violence in Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Community members gathered at Douglass High School on Saturday for the Silence the Violence event sponsored by the Columbia Community Non-Violence Initiative.

The day officially started with a silent march from the Boone County Courthouse to Douglass High School.

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Once the marchers arrived, the chairs and sound equipment were moved outside because the gymnasium was over capacity. Jeff Johnson, BET host and activist, spoke to open the community forum. Inside Douglass High School, attendees browsed information from community agencies and organizations geared to youth education, employment and empowerment.

The Missourian also had a booth where attendees could answer two questions:

1. What issues do you think contribute to youth and gang violence in Columbia?

2. How do you plan to silence the violence in Columbia?

Go to the Columbia Missourian's Facebook album to see a sample of the responses.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.