WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — a panel discussion geared toward teens touched on several issues plaguing the community, including gun violence.

Students and parents gathered at Carver High school in Winston-Salem. The event was put on by Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County’s Youth Empowerment Program also known as “YEP”.

The panel was led by comedian and radio host Brain “B-Dhat” McLaughlin.

Students and parents got the chance to listen to the YEP director and the assistant chief of the Winston-Salem Police Department discuss the things that lead to violence among young people and how to prevent it.

“We’re here today to figure out what can we do as a community. It’s very unfortunate that those events are happening, but we have to figure out where we start. We have to start small…and this is one of those small steps that we begin to take to be able to make that change so that we can create bigger change to make instances like that happen less,” said YEP Director Deshea Blake.

They were also able to share suggestions they have for preventing violence in their communities.

Some of the topics discussed were: bullying in schools, the fears parents have sending their kids to school and how students can create change in their neighborhoods.

This panel was planned months ago and postponed, but recent shootings locally and nationally made the discussion more timely and urgent.

“It makes me feel horrible. I don’t like it, and we need to quit it. So I don’t know the best thing to do, but we need to stop it now,” said YEP member Karem Carson Nelson.

The panel discussion lasted for almost an hour. The YEP director says they hope to have more discussions with even more attendance in the future.