Brooklyn —

Last month, Tameeka Ford Norville was sitting in her lilac-colored office at the Ingersoll Community Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where she runs an after-school program, when the phone rang. Shots had been fired in the housing projects next door, a resident told her. Ms. Ford Norville locked the center’s doors and told her staff to make sure the children were accounted for.

Then she sat in her office and cried.

A feeling of hopelessness, all too familiar to Ms. Ford Norville, came rushing over her. She had first felt it when her 26-year-old brother, Jamal Ford, was murdered in East New York six years ago. The killer was 16.

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