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The Daily Tar Heel

Family Anti-Violence Union Responds to Discrimination

The group was founded by community member Michael Cox with help from Fred Hashagen, LGBT administrative assistant, and Glenn Grossman, chairman of the Carolina Alternative Meetings of Professional and Graduate Students. The group's formation came in response to the murders of two gay men in Durham as well as other recent displays of anti-gay sentiments.

The Family Anti-Violence Union is a community group and not an official student group, but members are considering the option of becoming a recognized student organization in the future.

The new group held a meeting on campus Tuesday night, although only five people other than the founders were present at the meeting.

But organizers said they were not concerned by the turnout.

"I don't think that the small number of people here tonight is an indication of the interest level on this subject," said Mark Zumbach, a representative from Triangle Communication Works.

At the meeting, the group discussed ways to reach out to the LGBT community and how to target the different populations within that community.

"Part of the reason that people are interested in this issue is that they feel something is missing, and there's an immediate need for more coordination and communication," Zumbach said.

The group also outlined the goals it wants to accomplish and issues it wishes to confront, such as the documentation of hate crimes.

"There is not a lot of information or statistics about hate crimes committed against the LGBT community," Zumbach said.

Another issue the group will address is the desire for increased communication and cooperation with police departments in Durham and Raleigh as well as throughout Wake and Orange counties.

Grossman proposed more contact with a liaison from police departments, and Hashagen said he wanted to create an open information-sharing system with various police departments.

"We would like access to information that police have, and we want to be able to call on them and also help them out when they need it," Hashagen said.

Shawn Luby, a member of the North Carolina Lambda Youth Network, said that preventive measures against hate crimes are important. She proposed educating the police about how to take action against hate crimes.

Grossman said he hopes the organization will be a productive bridge between the University and the surrounding community to protect LGBT people in both places.

Grossman said, "We want to draw from a broad base of support from the community and utilize UNC's resources to help students on campus and the entire community."

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