Task Force Youth Forum

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COLUMBIA - A board member from the Mayor's Task Force on Community Violence says the group wants feedback on violence in Columbia especially from 18 to 24-year-olds. The task force is hosting a forum for youth on Friday night.

That forum will be the last of three forums held this week. The first forum was open to the general community, and Thursday's forum is designed for parents and guardians.

The forum for youth aged 15-30 will be held on Friday night from 6 to 8 pm at the Columbia National Guard Armory. Special guests at the youth forum will include a DJ, an emcee and a rapper, and a bails bondswoman.

Task force board member David Thomas said 18-24 year olds are statistically more likely to be involved in violence.

"That's why we really want to encourage people aged 15 to 30 years old to attend the youth forum on Friday night," Thomas said.

 The first forum was a success, according to Thomas.

"We had somewhere between 125 and 150 people attend. The general mood was positive. People were very open - they came to contribute to the conversation," Thomas said.

The task force hopes more people will come out for the two remaining meetings, especially the youth forum.

"We want the recommendations we are submitting to the city council regarding violence in Columbia to make a lasting difference. And any lasting change absolutely has to be rooted in the community and supported by the community," said Thomas. 

The meeting tonight for parents and guardians will be held at the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church from 7 to 9 pm.