Flint pastor starts new anti-violence program for youths - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint pastor starts new anti-violence program for youths

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(01/24/12) - A Flint pastor, prominent in the city's fight against violence, is trying a new approach.

He's giving young adults an outlet, a place to learn and talk about how to prevent certain situations.

"They kept coming in saying they were stepping over murders. So many murders in their community and they felt they needed to do something about it so the discussion started. The forum really grew out of their own desire to do something about it in the city," said Pastor
Robert McCathern with Joy Tabernacle Church.

His program is called the "urban forum for the prevention of violence."

The goal is get about 200 young adults through it in about seven weeks.

Part of the strategy is giving them an avenue to just vent.

Pastor McCathern said he almost considers the whole city a victim of violence.

Eight homicides now since January 10 and one suspicious death.

These kids are constantly surrounded by crime and conflict and he wants to provide them a way to find ways to diffuse and resolve conflict.

He urged the group to fight back.

Fight against the wrong of it.

"I feel like I needed to be the one to take the first step to make a step out.  If I take a step out, maybe my other friends, maybe they'll take a step and follow me when they see I'm doing something that's right.  We're losing too many people in our generation," said Michelle Colston.

The meetings continue for the next six Tuesdays, at 2 p.m., at Joy Tabernacle Church in Flint.

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