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Peace Rally to end gun violence in Toledo

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 12:59 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledoans gathered on Saturday at Lincoln Elementary to rally for peace then marched down Detroit to St. Martin de Porres Church. It was part of the mayor’s initiative to end gun violence, headed by JoJuan Armour.

“Once we get young people to value on themselves, they intentionally make better decisions, put themselves into better situations, because they understand that the wrong decision could jeopardize that thing they put that value on,” says Armour.

Kids were the focus of the day -- teaching them that even though the city has seen 56 murder this year so far, violence should never feel normal.

Patience Roberts took her two kids, 15-year-old Sincere Roberts and 9-year-old Rashan Wilso, to the rally. Sincere says the day made her feel powerful.

“Being a leader. If I could reach someone, that would be amazing. The mindsets my mom is teaching me, I can definitely teach people and reach people around me, and I guess that’s where it starts,” says Sincere.

There were community organizations present to help connect people to services that could help stop the violence.

“It starts with your mindset. It starts with your household. If we can teach one, we can teach many,” says Patience.

But mostly the day was aimed at letting children in the community know that they are loved and supported, and that’s why they should find constructive ways to handle their problems.

“It’s all about, stop being violent and not hitting people,” says Rashan.

Armour says that so far, the initiative’s task force, the violence disruptors have been successful. The group has focused its efforts on the Junction-Englewood area. That neighborhood has not seen a murder in more than 40 days.

There are three more anti-violence townhalls coming up this week. Data from the three held in the spring has been analyzed. The results will be shared and the community will discuss the findings.

Those town halls will be held at the following times:

  • Monday, 6 p.m. – Martin Luther King Elementary
  • Tuesday. 6 p.m. – Waite High School
  • Wednesday, 6 p.m. – Woodward High School

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