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We Are Women Warriors hold community forum following the incident at McKinley High School

The conversation will be the first in a series concerning violence that has been affecting the Black community's youth population.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "No excuses."

That is the message from community members following the shooting and stabbing at McKinley High School three weeks ago. 

On Thursday night, members of the group We Are Women Warriors hosted a forum to talk about how to unify the community and protect students. The conversation will be the first in a series concerning violence that has been affecting the Black community's youth population.

The group's goal is to "improvement of the quality of life and well-being of inner-city residents and their children."

Speakers included local activists, religious leaders, and Buffalo Public School board member Sharon Belton-Cottman. She says the conversation to help kids needs to start in the home.

"Our children don't have the support they should have. There's no way things should be happening in our community, the blood that's being spilt in our community and we're not enraged," Belton-Cottman said.

The group says in order to help we all must address the quality and conditions of neighborhoods and what is going on at home for students who may be struggling.

“Every child, every student, should be able to be secure in the expectation that he or she can travel from home, to school, participate in the learning process and any after-school program, and be able to be dismissed, and then travel anywhere and everywhere and throughout the community, and then arrive back home in, and to, safety,” said Betty Jean Grant, founder/president of We Are Women Warriors.

The talks will take place on the last Thursday of the month through the end of the year. The Warriors plan to draft a Community Compact Concerning Youth Violence document based on conversations through the year. It will then be delivered to politicians with detailed recommendations and suggestions.

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