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Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance director chosen to visit White House for violence prevention event

Myesha Watkins will be one of several representatives of violence prevention organizations visiting the White House next week to discuss various strategies.

CLEVELAND — Representatives from various organizations, including one from Cleveland, will visit the White House next week to discuss various strategies to prevent violence.

Myesha Watkins, the Executive Director of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance (CPA) will travel to Washington D.C. for the event.

The CPA works towards violence prevention before it occurs, but Watkins is hopeful to learn new ways to work within the community.

"Working in violence prevention is very, very hard job and sometimes it feels like even your best is not good enough," said Watkins.

The visit to the White House Monday will be Watkins' first time at the president's home. Watkins told 3News she is bringing her nine-year-old daughter will her to the event. Watkins hopes her and her daughter can learn about how violence is impacting youth in communities across the country.

Watkins says there are several variables that drive violence in the Cleveland community. 

"Sometimes we only pay attention to the most heightened areas of violence and one of those would be gun violence," says Watkins. "But, there are other things that happen before someone decides to shoot and I think those are things we don't pay attention to."

The visit to the nation's capitol comes after a violent holiday weekend in Cleveland and across the country.

Watkins told 3News that everyone who wants to help prevent violence needs to be on the same page.

"We struggle with alignment, like there are so many people that are committed to ensuring our communities are safe, but there's a lack of alignment," said Watkins.

Watkins hopes to take innovative ideas from the event at the White House and bring them back to Cleveland to make the community more safe.

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