Teens Gather at Town Hall in Dorchester to Help Address ‘Senseless Violence' in City

"A lot of times our kids are making reactions based on emotions and not being informed," the executive director for the Center of Teen Empowerment said.

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There was a round of applause Saturday night for a group of focused teenagers who want to make a difference in Boston after a recent spike in gunfire.

The Center for Teen Empowerment hosted a town hall at the Lena Park Community Center in Dorchester to discuss strategies and solutions to end senseless violence.

“At teen empowerment, we try to solve issues that happen in our community by communicating as a team. It’s not one person. It’s not two people, it’s all of us,” one speaker told the town hall crowd. “Stop the violence, stop the deaths that are going on. We all want to work here together."

“What we haven’t seen as much as we should is youth voice. There’s no better voice than youth peers and thinking about what is the root cause of the violence,” said Abrigolf Forester, the executive director, for Teen Empowerment.

He's looking to cut down on the city's recent violence, saying, "A lot of times our kids are making reactions based on emotions and not being informed.”

The town hall began with an opening session panel with experienced peace advocates discussing the root causes of gun violence. Break out sessions were held afterwards.

The sessions included organizing a ceasefire, creating support systems, expungement advocacy and grief circles.

“We can take action against violence by not being bystanders in situations by creating safe spaces by not participating in violent activity," one young woman said.

It's helping each other and their community that these teens are trying to do together.

The organization already has more meetings planned in the future.

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