Study: Black Michiganders seven times more likely to become homicide victims

Black Michiganders are seven times more likely to be murdered than the average American---thatâ??s according to the Violence Policy Center.

That's very disturbing,â?? says Michelle McGregor, director of Saginawâ??s First Ward Community Center.

The new study is shocking Saginaw neighbors.

According to the study, in 2011 477 African- Americans were murdered in Michigan and more than 6,300 hundred nationwide.

â??I think that's terrible and we have to do something about that,â?? says Larry Campbell, president of the Northeast Saginaw Neighborhood Association.

Community activists say they're fighting the odds with safe havens like the First Ward Community Center.

â??We are the prevention of crimes, we don't have crimes in our building,â?? says McGregor.

â??It's a village raising a child so through the center and all of us together will all the programs, it gives them opportunity and hope,â?? says Campbell.

Over at Parishoners on Patrol, the writing is on the wall---the message loud and clear.

â??Our message is stopping crime and violence and making the community a lot better,â?? says Parishioners on Patrol co-founder Rev. Larry Camel.

Those using P.O.P.â??s services say the message is breaking through every creed and color.

â??It helps people in the community realize that they shouldn't be shooting each other over just petty stuff,â?? says Ryan Oswald of Saginaw.

With Michigan State Police providing an additional presence and a recent dip in crime, activists are hoping Michigan falls lower on the list.

â??With the state police, families, agencies like ourselves, we can continue to build strong communities,â?? adds McGregor.

Saginaw saw a16-percent dip in crime in 2013. Meantime, Flint's violent crime rate droped 22-percent in 2013.

So far, Flint has recorded one homicide this year and Saginaw has been homicide-free since the beginning of the year.