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North Philadelphia Gathering Spotlights Antiviolence Effort

(Bintu Kabba has burgers on the grill for today's antiviolence event in North Philadelphia.  Credit: John McDevitt)

(Bintu Kabba has burgers on the grill for today’s antiviolence event in North Philadelphia. Credit: John McDevitt)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A community gathering was held today at a North Philadelphia recreation center to focus on the problems of violence and bullying.

There was a barbecue, games for the kids, and discussions about bullying and gun violence today at the Martin Luther King recreation center.

“We want to shed light on something that is very serious in Philadelphia, especially with a lot of youth being shot and killed every day,” says Bintu Kabba (top photo) with the nonprofit group Caring People Alliance.  “It’s really an issue.  They are losing friends left and right.”

Sixteen-year-old Gladys (below right) saw someone killed right before her eyes.

“I saw my best friend get shot in front of me because she was getting smart with the wrong people,” Gladys recalls.

And 16-year-old Kareema (below left) says she attempted suicide after undergoing bullying.

“Now I look back at it and I’m, like, ‘What — I let that get to me?!’ ” she says today.

(Kareema, left, and Gladys, both 16.  Credit: John McDevitt)

(Kareema, left, and Gladys, both 16. Credit: John McDevitt)

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Many participants at today’s event say if it helps just one person by sharing their experiences, the effort is well worth it.