PALMDALE – Following a recent rash of robberies and burglaries in the Antelope Valley, several community organizations have joined together to hold a conference on crime prevention and intervention.
The “Saving Our Own Community” conference will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 23 at the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, located at 38350 Sierra Highway in Palmdale.
The goal of the conference is to unite the community against violence and to develop solutions for a stronger, safer, and more unified community, said organizers.
“We as the people in this Valley, whether we’re white, black, brown, purple, Asian, it really doesn’t matter, what’s happening is that we are injuring ourselves,” said Juan Blanco, President of the NAACP, Antelope Valley branch.
“We need the community’s input on how we can build a safer community for all of us,” said Pharaoh Mitchell, founder of The Community Action League (TCAL).
The conference will feature a panel of leaders from various community organizations, including the Antelope Valley Human Relations Commission, the NAACP- AV Chapter, TCAL, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
LULAC member, Dr. Miguel Coronado, will be one of the panelists. He said he is participating in the conference partly because he is sick and tired of reading news stories about minorities breaking the law.
“We found two gentlemen breaking into people’s homes… African Americans. We found two other gentlemen breaking into people’s homes stealing stoves…Latinos,” Coronado said. “We need to start coming together to be responsible for ourselves. The community has to be involved to make sure that we work together to stop this crime, to stop this petty nonsense in our community.”
Mediator Linda Atkins Hughes, of the Center for Alternative Law & Mediation (CALM), is also among the panelists.
“I’m going to emphasize community building,” Hughes said. “Things like the neighborhood watch groups, and the aspect of all parts of the community working together for crime prevention.”
Organizers said the most important part of the conference is the community’s participation.
“We want to hear about ideas and solutions,” Mitchell said.
The conference is free and open to all residents.