Norfolk teen uses poetry in hopes of ending gun violence in the community

NORFOLK, Va. - Coral Kendall, 17, hosted a live poetry reading at the Muse Writers Center in hopes to end gun violence.

Kendall, among other local poets, believes words are powerful and can change the way people view the world and inspire action.

The Lake Taylor High School student tells News 3 it's a subject she shows bias towards since the mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida.

"We actually had two walkouts at our school. The first one was organized by the school and just told everyone to go outside for 17 minutes," said Kendall.

The poet added gun violence is something that terrifies many people.

Kendall said her former classmate, Keshawn Alexander, was struck and killed by a bullet in February 2018.

A candlelight vigil was held at the school for him days later.

"What I really wish is that his friends and family didn't have to lose him and didn't have to miss out on knowing the person he was going to become," said Kendall.

Many poets read from different perspectives during the reading. Kendall stated society is desensitized to gun violence and wanted listeners to see victims for who they were - beyond just another number.

"I want the room to be filled with passion and anger and just remorse for what's happened," mentioned Kendall. "I want that to be enough for us to want to take action with our words and turn it into something else entirely."