EAST POINT, Ga. -- Mothers, fathers and community members gathered at Tri-Cities High School Thursday night to answer one question: How do we keep our young black men safe?
The panel included families of five young, black men who were recently killed in various acts of violence. Two notable cases, the hazing death of FAMU drum major Robert Champion and the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, helped spark the forum.
Relatives of Martin and Champion were both present, along with families of Canard Arnold, Ervin Jefferson and Ariston Waiters. Arnold and Jefferson were recently killed by security guards in two separate events. Waiters was killed by a Union City Police Officer.
The two-hour panel was geared toward parents. Panelists talked about the importance of education, knowing and changing laws, and teaching young men how to respond in confrontational situations.
Organizers said this is the first of many forums on the topic.