ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Community members, city leaders and law enforcement all in one room with one common goal to reduce gang violence.
One reverend says strengthening the community starts with our youth.
"I live actually on the West side," said Rockford Resident Gloria Williams. Rockford resident Gloria Williams knows all too well about gang violence happening in the community.
You know I hear about them I read about them, it just affects you because I live in the area. Like I said it's not something that has happened directly to me but in a sense it has happen directly because you're living around those things. Then when someone's life is taken it affects you."
Williams was one of many Rockford residents along with city leaders and local law enforcement to attend a community conversation about reducing violence in Rockford.
The speaker was reverend Jeffrey brown the president of RECAP. His organization helps cities build partnerships between the faith based community, government and law enforcement agencies to reduce gang violence in the community.
Earlier this week Brown spoke with students at Auburn High School about how they can impact their community in a positive way.
"I think there's some fear involved in getting involved in this work. I think people have concerns about personal safety but I would argue that that personal safety is threatened even by not doing anything so we can't just hope that it will go away through hope it's going to go away through actions, " said Reverend Brown.
"I don't think it's a new concept but I think it's new in the sense that we need to go out there and do it," said Rockford Resident Gloria Williams.
Brown message to pastors is to go into the streets and meet the youth where they are. He says although we may not have the answers they will come in the dialogue and conversations we have with youth in our community.