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Portland woman organizes conference to help prevent gun violence among young men

"You deserve to live beyond the age of 30. Right now our young men are not doing that. They're dying at younger ages," said Donya Frazier, creator of Beyond 30.

PORTLAND, Ore. — It's about halfway through the year, and Portland is already on track to see another one of its worst years of gun violence on record. The city has seen 42 homicides, 38 of which were gun-related. 

The alarming level of violence has prompted a local woman to take action and speak out.

Like many in the community, Donya Frazier has been impacted by gun violence. She grew tired of seeing so much senseless gun violence in the community, so she organized a conference called "Beyond 30" to help prevent gun violence among young men and teens. 

The conference was geared toward between the ages of 12 an 17. 

"The message is, it's possible," Frazier said from the Embassy Suites in Northeast Portland on Sunday morning. "You are more than what you are currently seeing and experiencing."

RELATED: Biden signs landmark gun violence compromise

So far this year, the Portland Police Bureau has reported more than 640 shootings. At least 195 people were hurt by gunfire and 38 were killed.

"You deserve to live beyond the age of 30. Right now our young men are not doing that. They're dying at younger ages," said Frazier. "We can show up in the courtroom, we can show up at the funerals, but at Beyond 30 we want to show up before all that happens, We want to grab them in the beginning before they go down that trail."

The conference's key points are to rebuild, restore and reintroduce

"What can we do to rebuild our community, what can we do to restore it and how to we can we introduce our children to something more positive?" Frazier explained. 

RELATED: Man shot at busy park; 2 killed in violent 24 hours in Portland

The conference aimed to show young men their potential through mentorship and other resources. 

"I want them to leave with a message that there is hope number one, change is possible and the way you came in, you don't have to leave that same way," said Frazier.

This is the first Beyond 30 conference. Frazier said she hopes to make it an annual event.

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