ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A day after a man was shot to death at a Roanoke 7-Eleven, and a week after two juveniles were injured in a triple shooting, Roanoke City Council didn’t directly address the violence in their city. However, a Roanoke City youth group did.
The Youth Services Citizens Board, a council-appointed group with the city, spoke at City Council on Monday, April 17th, sharing news of workshops that teach youth about healthy relationships, social justice, media safety, stress, and the arts.
“We just thought in light of so many things going on, that it was very important that we take this opportunity,” said chair Anita Price, before introducing youth representatives to speak.
The theme of gun violence was hard to ignore throughout the presentation.
“The soap box project [showed] how art can reveal the gunfire epidemic in our neighborhoods and imagine a better and safer community,” said Jayveon Tucker, a student representative, while he explained different projects and activities involved in their Youth Summit.
Also provided for City Council and those attending Monday’s meeting was a checklist of needs from Roanoke’s kids and teens. The list was peppered with references to ongoing violence.
“The list of responses indicated desires of feeling safe,” said another student representative, Kevin McNeil. According to the list, Roanoke’s youth believe the city needs more places for teens and kids to hang out and spend their weekends. They also said unity, more Youth Summits, [metal] detectors, and finally: “Kids need to have fun and safety.”
Councilman Peter Volosin attended this month’s Youth Summit and commended the Board.
“It was really great to see all our youth out there learning new skills, especially while having such issues with youth violence,” Volosin told them. “Having somewhere to go on the weekend was really impactful, and I’m really proud of y’all for what you did to help throw that summit, so thank you for everything you’ve done.”