TALEDA, Ohio – on Palm Sunday this year, the people of Toledo loudly and clearly stated: stop violence and protect the people who live here.
“Because we all love our city. We absolutely love the community in which we live. We have all suffered from the news and watched and heard about death after death as a result of violence, ”said Lisa McDuffie, president of the YWCA and CEO.
Community leaders say the rise in gunfighting and domestic violence over the past few years has reached a tipping point. County Children’s Director Lucas Robin Reese wants this not to become commonplace.
“Over the last few months, we’ve had children who were actually killed on our streets. It can never be our routine. We wanted to make sure that this level of violence is on the radar of everyone, including the church,” Reese said. .
This makes it appropriate that on Palm Sunday, community members and nonprofits gathered at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church on Hoag Street to provide resources to those in need and emphasize responsibility in efforts to end the violence.
“It is important for each of us to take responsibility for saving our families – all we need to do. That is the message today,” McDuffie said.
Believers in the church emphasized the same idea of combating violence: unity.
“If we come together and bring unity to our community, and really talk about the problems, then we can really find solutions to those problems.”
Guests at the event included a Grammy-winning gospel band, the Clark Sisters, Bishop John Williams, Chris Byrd and True Victory.
Groups including the Toledo Division of NAACP, 100 Sistas, the YWCA of Northwest Ohio, the Academy of Researchers, the Lucas County Children’s Service, and Lucas County Commissioners Tina Skeldan Wozniak, Gary L. Byers and Pete Gerkenk and Toledo Mayor Wade Cap all present.