Voices of Black Mothers United: Group of mothers work to combat gun violence pandemic in Racine

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RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Racine County is taking measures to combat teen gun violence after a violent two weeks. They're doing so with the help of a group of mothers who've lost a child to gun violence.

Racine County welcomed the first Voices of Black Mothers United in Wisconsin. It's a national group that invites local mothers in pursuit of making a difference in their communities.

"I think it's extremely necessary considering the rates in which we're losing young people and I believe hurt people hurt people," said Nakeyda Haymer, leader of the Voices of Black Mothers United in Racine.

Haymer knows what it's like to lose a loved one to gun violence. In 2017, she lost her brother D'Anthony Keenan to gun violence. Ever since then, she's helped families and individuals heal from the same plight.

"I understand where families are coming from and I feel like it puts me in a better position to understand and help heal," said Haymer.

The group of mothers go deep into violent communities to encourage problem-solving efforts, community engagement and positive policing. Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said the group is a big step in their youth prevention efforts.

"We know that as a community we needed to try to do something different and the county on its own can’t do this and address this issue and be as successful as we want to by ourselves," said Delagrave.

In the past two weeks, we've reported three shootings, leaving one teen dead and another in critical condition. According to the Racine Police Department, they've reported one teen death because of gun violence this year.

Haymer said she believes the first step in curving gun violence is healing within families.

"When they heal as a whole we believe that their friends, their family and people around them will begin to heal and then we can move forward with more positive things in life and slow down the retaliation and the violence," said Haymer.

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