COLUMBUS (WCMH) – An organization promoting peace, love and unity is expanding in Columbus during a week when violence is plaguing our nation.
The 10,000 Fearless Peacemakers say their mission to make our communities a decent and safe place to live. The organization began their work here in Columbus back in November of last year.
Minister Donell Muhammad told NBC4 the mission began in the Linden area after several killings and shootings. On Friday, they celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters at 1062 East Livingston Avenue. He said their goal is to have a chapter on each side of the city.
“We’ve been working with self-defense, proper handling of people and going out in the community and showing love for our brothers and sisters in the various communities,” said Muhammad. “Now we’re here dedicating the 10,000 Fearless Peacemakers headquarters right here at Livingston and Champion.”
He said the organization has been working with city officials, including Director Speaks and Police Chief Jacobs. Their mission is to make communities safer during a time of increased gun violence and crime by coming together.
“We can’t go another day with kids getting murdered,” said Christopher Campbell, a community leader and Peacemaker in the Linden area. “We can’t go another day with the communities being unsafe. Everybody needs to be involved.”
He said instead of reacting to violence, the organization is being proactive in the community.
“We have to change us, meaning ourselves and our community first and then things will get better,” he said.
Campbell said the group is not about protesting. They are about being diligent and building confidence in local neighborhoods that have been torn apart.
“Stepping up and taking responsibility instead of blaming,” he said.
Leighton Salter stopped by the new Peacemaker headquarters when he saw their sign; he was interested in helping to make a change.
“We can’t even trust not only our own police, but our own neighbors sometimes,” said Salter. “Now, it just seems like we’re all out for ourselves and it’s destroying ourselves. Not only is it destroying black lives, but it’s destroying all lives.”
After speaking with Campbell about the Peacemaker cause, Salter said he wants to be involved.
“When are we going to realize that we’re all human beings? And as human beings we need to work together to survive?” said Salter.
The Peacemakers already offer free training every Tuesday in Linden and beginning this Thursday on the east side. Campbell said they train in CPR, self defense and conflict resolution, among other things.
“Squash the beef, before the grief,” he said. “Let’s use our words. Let’s find out where we were wrong so that no one dies, so that no one’s murdered, so that the neighborhood can continue to be safe.”
“If people are starting to see that people are caring and people are trying to work together to try and make this whole entire thing better then maybe we’ll get a better response,” Salter said.
Training is held twice each week:
- Tuesdays, 7pm at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 2021 Cleveland Avenue
- Thursdays, 7pm at 10,000 Fearless Peacemakers HQ, 1062 E. Livingston Avenue
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