"I lost one of my former basketball players at E. E. Smith High School. Ever since that moment it was heavy on my heart and I wanted to do something," said organizer Bryan Tillman.
He and a few others who work in education along with their barber and another friend told ABC11 it was time to step up.
NOW: packed house at Smith Lake Rec center for the Youth Outreach and Mentoring Program. A group of educators say they are tired of the violence and they taking back their community. #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/LWOn8tbK9D— Akilah Davis (@DavisABC11) December 4, 2018
"Stop the violence. I'm bringing all sides of town together. We've got sides of town that don't like this side. We want to stop the violence and give them skills to cope and strive," said organizer Royvell Godvolt.
The group told ABC11 it is determined to take the city back.
The group is in the process of launching a nonprofit and taking its concerns to city council.