COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In recent weeks, it’s tough to go 48 hours without hearing about a fatal shooting in Columbus.
Leaders in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville community say it’s time to make a change.
Those leaders started that push Saturday by gathering the community outside to remind them that change starts from within.
Bronzeville’s Push for Peace event was about coming together to promote positivity and faith instead of violence.
The event was happening as one more person was fatally shot in the city.
Leaders said enough is enough and they are ready to make this change from the bottom up.
Bethany Presbyterian Church Pastor Edward Lewis organized the Push for Peace to remind people in Bronzeville that they have the power to change the landscape of the city.
“We often depend on the police and we thank them for the work that they do, but there’s a part of this that we have to do and it begins by bringing us together and we do it with our trust in faith,” Lewis said.
He said the change starts with the youngest members of the community and that the roadmap of communication begins now with people like Keith Mason, his wife, and their three kids.
“The neighborhood has had a lot of violence in the last year, so we are here to uplift,” Keith Mason said.
Mason’s family spent Saturday taking in the music, positivity, and being together in their community.
He hopes the event will help guide his children on a peaceful path.
“For the most part, healing starts from within, so we need to come together and educate our young children,” Keith Mason said. “Let them know that violence, killing is worthless. It’s portrayed in movies, it’s portrayed in music, it has become partly the norm, so we want to end that stigma.”
Community leaders said shootings are happening almost daily now, the violence making people forget about the positive things Bronzeville, with its rich history, has to offer.
People at the event pray that others can move past the violence and go into the future with peace.
“You must start small and then grow because you start too big, then you lose the momentum,” said Willis Brown, president of the Bronzeville Neighborhood Association. “Now we have something to look forward to.”
Bronzeville community leaders plan on hosting other events like this one.
They also said they have come up with a new gun violence initiative they plan on bringing to Columbus leaders in the future.