Memphis faith leaders hope to address trauma associated with violence

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 4:08 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Faith leaders, police, and U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, Joseph Murphy, have all come together to launch the “Better Community Summit” program.

“This summit is a great thing,” said Murphy. “It rose out of a series of meetings that the U.S. Attorney’s Office had with about 40 different clergy.”

During the summit, pastors will hold sessions on different topics, like conflict resolution, trauma responses, and community relationships.

Pastor Walter Womack believes this program could have made a difference if it had been in place before recent crimes.

“I thought last night, what if the young man that threw the young baby over the bridge, what if he could of gotten some kind of counseling,” said Womack.

The program first launched in the Frayser community back in November. Faith leaders felt it would be effective in South Memphis.

Murphy says in the future, he’d like to see the program expand to other pockets of Memphis.

“We’d like to go to North Memphis. We’d like to go to Whitehaven,” said Murphy.

Memphis police report 42 murders so far this year, including five children who have died violently. Murphy believes the program can create change.

“We definitely believe that this program can help us get ahead of that. I can’t guarantee that’s it’s going to reduce crime by X percent, but one element of solving a problem is, I call this prevention,” said Murphy.

The summit is set for Saturday at the Greater Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. It begins at 10 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m.

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