Mayor khalid, Atlanta rapper Young Dro to host Town Hall about gun violence

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - South Fulton Mayor khalid kamau and Atlanta rapper and activist Young Dro are set to address gun violence in an upcoming youth Town Hall meeting.

The Youth Town Hall will focus on gun violence, following the increase in cases involving metro Atlanta teens, and will take place on Jan. 26 at the Southwest Art Center located at 915 New Hope Road in South Fulton at 7 p.m.

This event will be “free” to the public with limited seating and encourage people to RSVP via text. This will be the first in-person Town Hall part of Mayor khalid’s quarterly series “Courageous Conversations.” South Fulton families can sign their children up for a mentor, after-school programs, and internships at the event.

“I don’t want to tell young people to just put their guns down without replacing them with options that are positive and profitable,” explains Mayor khalid

For the first time, Mayor khalid requires a vote from South Fulton City Council at the Town Hall during the discussion.

“But I tend to take innovative approaches to reach new audiences so I welcome the discussion.”

Award-winning Atlanta rapper Young Dro will not only be a panelist at the event but will also perform his new single, “Run Out of Time”. The rise in gun violence prompted Young Dro to release a project called “Guns Down,” dedicated to the recent murder of Takeoff and other Atlanta rappers including Trouble.

“We’re here for moral support, to stand with you. You know what I’m saying, there’s not much I can really tell her because I know she probably doesn’t want to hear anything at this point she’s probably still hurting, mourning. But I do want to let her know that there is support out there,” said Young Dro.

“There’s a lot of violence out here, a lot of senseless killing,” said Young Dro, rapper.

The Atlanta hip-hop artist knows gun violence all too well. At the age of 15, he was the victim of the shooting, he says in part because of bad choices he made as a kid.

“I come from poverty, I have family that still lives in poverty, and I’m just speaking my truth,” said Dro.

“Many have criticized hip-hop for encouraging gun violence, so when Dro came to me and said ‘we gotta talk about what we’re feeding these kids, mentally, through our music. It was the perfect topic at the perfect time,” said Mayor khalid. “They don’t know where the table is. So, it’s our job as elected officials to make sure that they know where the table is, that they’re invited, and when they come that they feel welcome.”

As khalid and Young Dro were planning this event, there was another killing of 17-year-old MiQuavious Blanchard, a senior at Creekside in South Fulton. Blanchard was shot in the head at Camelot Condominiums as he was throwing out his mother’s Christmas tree. He is currently in ICU at Grady Memorial Hospital.

On Sunday, a 13-year-old boy identified as Deshon DuBose was shot and killed in southwest Atlanta. On Monday, police say 24-year-old Larry Miller was shot and killed outside a Taco Mac restaurant in Cobb County.

The mother of MiQuavious Blanchard will be featured at the Town Hall meeting to discuss how gun violence has affected their family, along with other families who have been affected and millionaire entrepreneurs under 40, some of who have transitioned from street life to legitimate businesses.

Those wishing to attend on Thursday must text VILLAGE to 55444 and receive an email confirmation.

Natasha Pollard

Natasha Pollard

Natasha Pollard joined the digital team for Atlanta News First as a digital content producer in November 2022.

Miles Montgomery

Miles Montgomery

Miles Montgomery is a Digital Content Producer for Atlanta News First and Peachtree TV.

Don  Shipman

Don Shipman

Don Shipman joined Atlanta News First in the spring of 2022 as a general assignment reporter bringing with him nearly 25 years of journalism experience.