BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The ‘We Are Women Warriors’ organization hosted their monthly No Excuses forum Thursday to address the uptick in violence in Buffalo. School leaders, educators and group members gathered to discuss how violence harms children in the city.

“Giving excuses is not going to stop the violence that is going on in the urban streets of America right now, including in the City of Buffalo,” said Sherry Sherrill, project facilitator for We Are Women Warriors.

Organization members say they want to come up with solutions to the violence plaguing the City of Good Neighbors. They believe children are impressionable and can easily fall into the wrong group. Now, they want to join together to create a solution to this problem.

“We’re pretty good as a community, as most communities are, at identifying what the problems are that are detrimentally impacting us. What we do need assistance on is feeling empowered about using our voices,” Sherrill continued.

The group wants residents involved in every step because they have seen how the process works.

“It’s going to entail working together as a group to solve one problem. It is to eliminate homicides and violent crime in the City of Buffalo,” Betty Jean Grant, co-founder and president of the We Are Women Warriors group, added.

After the plan is created, the group will present it to city leaders, including Buffalo Public Schools Interim Superintendent, Dr. Tonja Williams.

“That plan is going to focus the work for my team, for our schools. It will share expectations that we have for our families and for our children,” Dr. Williams said.

One of her top priorities is keeping violence out of the schools. She hears it from parents and teachers at school board meetings and she says these violent incidents are what keeps her up at night.

“I feel like these are my children. These are our children and I care about each and every one of them,” Dr. Williams concluded.

Event organizers say they will continue to hold these meetings once a month with the goal of finding solutions. The forums are held on the fourth Thursday of the month from 5-8 p.m. at the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library on Jefferson Ave. in Buffalo.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.