By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, are causing activists in Southeast Michigan to strategize on ways to keep the peace.

Force Detroit is one organization working to create community relationships to build meaningful bonds in neighborhoods.

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“We can disarm violence in the same way people like snatch keys away from drunk drivers,” said Force Detroit executive director Alia Harvey-Quinn.

“It is that very same sort of friendship-based, I care for you based action.”

Harvey-Quinn says one way to prevent shootings is through community violence intervention.

“That is sort of a fancy term for entrusting community members with meaningful relationships to use those relationships to de-escalate violence,” Harvey-Quinn said.

The discussion comes on the heels of the 15th annual Silence The Violence Rally where activists will honor lives lost by gunfire.

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“There is a profile for people who are likely violent. Like, who sees folks that are systems disconnected,” Harvey-Quinn said.

“They’re not going to school, they’re not working, they feel isolated and ostracized by society and a good, highly-trained violence interrupter can tell who these people are, build relationships with them and offer them the mental health support that otherwise they may not get.”

The event is happening Saturday at the Church of the Messiah on East Grand Boulevard.

Community members plan to gather at 10 a.m. to march in solidarity, calling for Common Sense Gun Laws, while sending messages for peace.

“Detroit is full of people who have experienced criminalization, experienced high-violence lifestyles, come home, transform right, and that expertise,  that skill is not being leveraged to transform other people,” Harvey-Quinn said.

“That is a gap that we need to fill.”

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