After recent violence, Riviera Beach community members hope to involve youth in creating change

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-02 18:56:47-05

Members of the Riviera Beach Community hoping that a youth movement will inspire change in a city plagued by recent violence.

Leaders held a meeting Monday at the Lindsey Davis Community Center to discuss how to deal with recent issues. 

Overall, the city dealt with 11 homicides in 2016.
A particularly violent November and December led to several people wounded by gunfire, and the death of one 15- year-old girl, Makayla Dennard, as she stood in a driveway. 

It led to the city's mayor, Thomas Masters asking for stricter enforcement of the city's curfew, and checkpoints at city borders. 

Organizers didn't want our cameras inside Monday’s meeting, but we did speak to younger community members who were heading in to attend. 

“I think it would be good to find a place where they can play basketball, and just set a programs throughout the community,” says 22 year old Kenneth Hawthorne. “Maybe it's not just something physically active but maybe something mentally active.”

“We definitely want to unite the older males with a younger males, and spread our knowledge and spread our wealth of experience so we can survive and thrive,” says 23-year-old Abiade Granger.

Organizers say they will be back next week to discuss how to expand their plan for youth in the community moving forward.