HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico community is invited to be part of a dialogue centered on hope, healing and a call to action for the future as local leaders ask what can be done about rising violence in the Richmond area and across the country.

“Together We’ll Heal: A Community Conversation for Peace,” two special town halls scheduled for this week, intend to answer the question “What can we do about it?” The meetings will be hosted by officials from the the Virginia Department of Health and Henrico County government as well the public school system and police department.

“While these meetings have been planned for some time, their urgency is heightened by recent unspeakable, national events,” said Amy Cashwell, HCPS superintendent. “We all feel a call to do something but may not know where to start. I’m hopeful that by engaging in this constructive conversation on youth violence, students, families and community members will come away empowered with tangible resources and action steps to promote a more peaceful Henrico County.”

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas will deliver the opening remarks, which will be followed by a moderated panel discussion with a Henrico student, HCPS Family and Community Engagement staff members and Henrico Police Chief Eric English, as well as a representative from the Virginia Department of Health and a community youth program. After the panel, there will be a question-and-answer session for the public.

“The Henrico Police Division is committed to fostering a safe, healthy community for all of our residents, but we cannot do this alone,” said English. “We need to strengthen the partnerships we’ve built among police, mental health and other government agencies, our school system, community organizations and civic leaders. Whether or not we realize it, youth violence affects us all. We must work together, as one community, to address the root causes and help our youth build each other up, not tear each other down.”

The first meeting will take place at Henrico High School, located at 302 Azalea Avenue, at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 6. The second meeting will take place virtually at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. The link to the second meeting can be found here.