By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Branch of the NAACP is taking a new approach to fighting violence in the community by holding a conference on love and relationships. It’s called the “Black Love Experience.”

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“We’ve marched after children have been murdered. We’ve picketed police agencies that we thought were slow to react. Nothing seems to be working. ”

Philadelphia Branch President Jerry Mondesire says the NAACP is tired of seeing black-on-black crime in the community, so they want to get to the heart of the matter.

“Maybe we can try to address these problems at the beginning when people come together to make children and build their lives together.”

Together with the Philadelphia Sunday Sun, the NAACP is hosting a free conference, “The Black Love Experience,” this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at Temple University.  But Mondesire says- it won’t be your typical NAACP event.

“We’re going to have fun!  We’re going to open it up, we’re going to have speed dating, we’re going to have people talking about some of the comedic things that are happening between young couples today.”

Mondesire says the idea came from Sunday Sun social media coordinator, Kiarra Solomon. At 25, she says she noticed that there is a serious communication problem in Gen-Y when it comes to dating:

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“Young people don’t want to talk, they want to text. And Facebook and Twitter interactions make people feel like they are developing relationships at a faster rate.”

She says sees the detrimental impact this “lack of communication” is having on the African American community.

“We only have very superficial discussions.  We never discuss things that matter before we have children, before we have sex with no strings attached and develop a very serious, grown up relationship.”

Solomon says they’ll be several authors, community leaders and a therapist available for a panel discussion. But she says the point- is to have a conversation with other people, face to face.

“We just want to have fun. We want people to get people out talking. We know that relationships are a hot topic.”

She says attendees are welcome to ask questions and can submit their questions in advance online. For more info go to

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