Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Ending violence is the goal of a local group of leaders who together took a stand Saturday.
A rally in downtown Fort Wayne brought together close to 100 people in an effort to spread awareness about the need for change in the Summit City.
"We say no, we say no” was chanted by the crowd at the Ed Rousseau Building Saturday afternoon as they made their message clear, saying they want to see an end to violence in their city.
In 2012, the Summit City had 22 homicides. It's a number that horrifies this group, and at the same time is pushing them to take a stand.
"You know right here I have the names of all the homicide victims, that's very unfortunate, but what's more unfortunate is the common thread that runs through the majority of these victims, and it's drugs, it's gangs and it's guns,” said Chief Rusty York, Fort Wayne Police.
For one of the speakers at the No More Violence in Fort Wayne Rally violence is something he says he can relate to because he’s been there, but he also says people can change.
"I was in the streets I was out there I was violent, we got to stop this, we got to come together,” said Derrick Davidson, spoke at rally.
Bishop Malcolm Howell helped organize this event and he plans to continue this effort by holding regular meetings and promoting dialogue about ways to help create change.
"We, as a community, need to develop a relationship with the police, and that comes through dialogue and talking and spending time together and working on issues and problems together,” said Howell.
Those who were there to listen say they were inspired and want to help.
"I'm going to reach out more and do more. If I see wrong happening, report it or even just help correct it,” said Tandalla Jackson, attended rally.
"I like the humility that I heard which said we don't have all the answers but we're going to figure it out together,” said Steve Jones, attended rally.
"We can say no to violence as a community, if we communicate, and like the pastor said, keep God first in our life,” said Davidson.
Bishop Howell is holding a follow up event where he hopes to brainstorm ways, with community members, to help decrease violence in the city. That is set for January 19 at noon at Harvest Word of Life church, which is located at 2260 Lake Avenue.
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