Violence inspires a local woman to take action and start a conference

“You deserve to live past 30. Right now our young men aren’t doing that. They’re dying younger,” said Donya Frazier, creator of Beyond 30.

PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s about halfway through the year, and Portland is already on track to see another of its worst years of gun violence on record. The city has seen 42 homicides, 38 of which were gun-related.

The alarming level of violence has prompted a local woman to take action and speak out.

Like many in the community, Donya Frazier has been affected by gun violence. She got tired of seeing so much senseless gun violence in the community, so she organized a conference called “Beyond 30” to help prevent gun violence among young men and teens.

The conference was aimed at young people aged 12 to 17.

“The message is that it’s possible,” Frazier said from the Embassy Suites in northeast Portland Sunday morning. “You are more than what you currently see and experience.”

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So far this year, the Portland Police Bureau has reported more than 640 shootings. At least 195 people were injured by bullets and 38 were killed.

“You deserve to live past 30. Right now our young men aren’t doing that. They’re dying younger,” Frazier said. “We can show up in the courtroom, we can show up at the funeral, but at Beyond 30 we want to show up before anything happens, we want to catch them early before they commit on this track.”

The key points of the conference are to rebuild, restore and reintroduce

“What can we do to rebuild our community, what can we do to restore it, and how can we introduce our children to something more positive? Frazier explained.

RELATED: Man Shot Dead in Busy Park; 2 killed in violent 24 hours in Portland

The conference aimed to show young men their potential through mentorship and other resources.

“I want them to leave with a message that there is hope number one, that change is possible and that the way you came in, you don’t have to leave the same way,” said said Frazier.

This is the first Beyond 30 conference. Frazier said she hopes to make it an annual event.

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