NewsRegion C Palm Beach County


West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach working together to curb violence

Posted at 4:33 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 17:00:07-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It seems every few months Angela Williams is adding a new picture to her wall.

“It’s a club that no one wants to join,” Williams said.

Williams is the founder and president of MAMA, Mothers Against Murderers Association. For 16 years she’s been going to crime scenes, funerals, and court to help grieving mothers.

“I had no idea that years later I’d have 425 mothers in my group that have lost their loved ones, and we just have to help these mothers because they go through so much outside of these walls,” Williams said.

Now Williams is looking forward to a new partnership. This weekend, community leaders in both Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach are coming together to address violence in both communities.

“We’ve been very frustrated for years, but I think I can throw all that frustration out the window now,” Williams said.

MAMA is just one of a few organizations participating in the grass roots effort to minimize crime in these areas. The organizers of the event say they want to take a different approach because the old one wasn’t working.

“I’m hoping to see the State Attorney’s Office, members of the school board, both mayors' offices, and both police departments just having a strong presence there,” Pastor Bryce Graham said.

Pastor Graham says he hopes this upcoming day of food fun and serious conversations will spark more outreach programs in the city.

“Our people have been sick of it, we’ve been tired of marching and demonstratin, now it’s time to see a greater change and greater effort to move our cities forward,” Graham said.

The Mayor of Riviera Beach, Ronnie Felder, and the West Palm Beach police say they will have representatives at the event on Saturday, July 29. It will kick off at 4 p.m. at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, located at 868 W. 9th St. in Riviera Beach.