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Group to host forum tonight on recent shootings

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A local human relations group is organizing a forum — Women for Police and Community Peace — to address the violent deaths police officers and unarmed people of color in a proactive manner.

The forum, which will be held 6:30 p.m. today inside the Hurley Room of the Rowan Public Library at 201 W. Fisher St., is an opportunity for women to have a conversation about the violence across the country.

Alvena Heggins,  owner and founder of Human Praxis Institute, the Salisbury-based human relations firm that specializes in strategic planning, racial & equity training and mediation services, is organizing the event.

Heggins said this is a grassroots effort to bring women together to address the deaths.

“We don’t want to see the tragedies occurring across the country happening here,” she said.

During this first meeting Heggins said participants can expect to engage in an action-oriented conversation that hopes to answer “why preserving the lives of our family members is paramount, why creating safe and welcoming spaces is critical, how we feel, how these deaths have impacted our community, data regarding race and policing and proactive solutions that may be viable.”

She said she targeted this meeting to women because “women are uniquely situated; we are nurturers, we are teachers, we are generally more verbally expressive, we are convenors of family and the vessels for bringing forth new life.”

“We thought women could bring a much-needed perspective to our national crisis collectively,” Heggins said.

She said this meeting was sparked by the string of tragic events and she hopes it will solidify a core group of women through the region who are willing to “collaboratively develop an action plan that other communities can easily replicate, yet tailor to their specific needs. The bottom line — let’s create inclusive, welcoming and safe communities for all.”

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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