'It starts at home': Advocates walk and pray for end to gun violence

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Saturday, August 19, 2023
Advocates walk and pray for end to gun violence
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Community and faith leaders went door to door in Raleigh Friday to try and stop the violence in the capital city as the new school year approaches.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Community and faith leaders walked down North Raleigh Boulevard on Friday night.

They went door-to-door to try to stop the violence in the Capital City as the new school year approached.

"It's about protecting our kids and making sure they are safe," said Gerald Givens, founder and CEO of Raleigh Boots on the Ground.

Faith leaders met at the Food Lion parking lot and walked to the Raleigh Millbank Apartments.

They stopped and prayed with community members in the parking lot and in the apartments as well.

"We say it starts at home, it starts at home, we got to have those conversations," Diana Powell, executive director of the nonprofit Justice Served NC.

She works and lives in the community in east Raleigh where gang violence is a problem.

"At night, it sounds like a warzone, guns are popping off and it's hard to sleep," Powell said. "I hear the sirens coming, I hear the gunshots. It's time for a change."

One of those change agents is Dawn Murphy. She is the property manager of Raleigh Millbank Apartments.

ALSO SEE: 'Let's not throw them away': Addressing recent increase in juvenile crimes in the Triangle

She grew up in public housing in Newark, New Jersey.

"Them seeing a face they can relate to, it's a respect thing," Murphy said. "I don't talk down to them, I talk to them. My team and I are trying to change the narrative of what they used to be, what they said about it."

They have not only flipped the name of the complex but they have formed partnerships with a variety of organizations in the community. They also have formed a partnership with the Raleigh Police Department.

Community leaders are praying this work has a lasting effect.

"Everyone still should be concerned, especially when we see it's our younger generation," Powell said.

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