Edward DuBose, a Columbus resident and former president of the Georgia Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was part of a delegation meeting with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday to focus on reducing black-on-black crime.
"Locking them up is not going to solve the problem," said DuBose, who serves as a Georgia board member for the NAACP. He joined board members from Connecticut, South Carolina and California, along with the organization's national staff from Baltimore, for the fact-finding meeting.
Some of the ideas considered in Chicago may help Columbus, where the city has 19 murders to date this year, many from black-on-black crimes.
DuBose said it's going to take more than a single organization to reduce the deaths. It will take help from the city government, the faith community, the civil rights organization, and to social organizations to come together collectively to reduce the number of murders.
Black-on-black crime in Chicago affects 15- to 25-year-olds. They are impacted by a lack of economic empowerment, higher unemployment rates for blacks and other issues.
"We talked about the disconnect not just between the white community but between the black elites, whether they be people who have reached a level of accomplishment but don't understand the things that go on with those that turn violent," DuBose said.
In Chicago, DuBose said he and group members were surprised to learn that illegal drugs aren't the reason people are killing each other.
"I'm concerned about all murders but the increase appears in black-on-black murders," he said. "If we are serious about stopping this, then what we are running against in Chicago could really help Columbus."
DuBose said he plans to brief Francys Johnson, the newly elected Georgia State Conference president from Statesboro, and Nate Sanderson, president of the Columbus branch of the NAACP, on the problem.
"Not only do I want to bring what I learned to Georgia, I want to bring it back to Columbus," DuBose said.
In January, DuBose said NAACP board members will return to Chicago to put a plan into action.