‘Not one more.’ Teen anti-gun violence weekend event held in west charlotte

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Food, good music, and important conversation were all had Saturday at the Meeting Place Church in West Charlotte. The community coming together to try to put an end to the recent string of gun violence that has plagued the area, with an event called “Teens Against Violence”.

The event was a joint effort by Not One More, an organization aimed at stopping gun violence, and the Meeting Place Church. Organizers spoke to the group of children and their parents about de-escalation techniques and about gun violence. 

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“We wanted to let our voices be heard and make a difference,” said Pastor Vincent Riley. 

Riley said even though the event had been in the works, the recent killing of 3-year-old Asiah Figueroa earlier this month, re-affirmed the need for the event needed to be held. 

“That angered me, angered a lot of people in our congregation and we wanted to make a statement,” Riley. 

For Kyle Goodman, founder of Not One More or NoMo for short, the recent killings feel personal. That’s because, in 2005, she lost her son Gregory to gun violence.  

“He was just 16 and he had so many plans, he wanted to go to Georgetown, a division one school, and play ball and get his college education,” said Goodman. “I’m so mad about that cause he was so on the ball and so ready to do that, but gun violence said you can’t go anywhere.”

That’s why she hopes events like Saturdays will help steer teens down a different path. To choose conflict resolution, instead of picking up a gun and choosing violence. 

“If we do something then he didn’t die for nothing,” Goodman said. 

It’s a hope that Pastor Riley shares. 

He says his church can be a safe haven for those teens, providing a place to play basketball and come together. The trick is, he says, getting them to listen. 

“If we can just save one life then we feel it would have made a difference,” Riley said.

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