Mercedes Wilson talked with Murray Holman from Western New York Peacemakers. He says, “Our community is healing right now, and everyone is taking this all in; they’re really a little bit confused but they are getting through it. It was Sunday yesterday, most of them went to church for the first time, so they are healing, and this is really a wake up call for us and our community.”
When asked what can we do, Holman says basically formulate some new groups out here with the youth, He says, “I did talk to a bunch of young ladies and young men to formulate their own group and their own visions so we can get in tune with them, and also to join our organizations across Western New York and all the way up to New York City and come up with a plan of action and teach the youth about violence in our community and how Buffalo is a unique place to be, we are a city of good neighbors and I believe this incident is a little bit different in our area, a little bit, but I think the most positive part we get from this is educating our youth in the community.”
After this happened Holman says, “I saw all different ethnic backgrounds of people coming here, especially with what is happening overseas, people were coming out, hugging each other, putting the COVID thing to the side and it was just like we just need to embrace each other.” He says he did see a lot of kids, babies, who didn’t understand what was going on and says he did try to talk to some parents saying this is not the scene for them because he didn’t want them to put that in mind they need help. Holman goes on to say he did a lot of Crisis Services, Crisis Intervention, Reverend Lewis came out with his team. He says when a call went out we went into a mode of seeing what resources we could bring out there to listen.
Murray Holman is one of the leaders of WNY Peacemakers. He says Peacemakers is made up from Stop The Violence Coalition, Mad Dads, Buffalo United Front, No More Tears, Fathers and Back to Basics and our administrator that runs the program is Pastor Giles and he is known all over the world. He says, Pastor Giles has given them great ideas and tools to use in order to deal with situations in our community, mindful, we do a lot of gun violence, and it prepares us for what just happened here but, it was a massive shooting but we already, I’ve been told finding funeral homes and prayer vigils in the city and some of our people are in tune with that.“