BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Monday marks the first day of activities after the Mayor-President called for a Week of Peace which kicked off on Good Friday.
The announcement came after a three-year-old boy was shot and killed in his bed by a stray bullet.
Over the next 10 days, groups of “Peace Walkers” will be canvassing Baton Rouge neighborhoods. They’re working to spread awareness about the resources available to residents, and surveying the community using easy-to-use QR codes. They are trying to find out how residents feel about the violence happening and if they feel like their voices are being heard.
“We have a lot of work to do. You know, as much as we think we’re doing a lot, is not enough,” stated 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge Executive Director Dadrius Lanus.
There were police standoffs and bullets flying over the past weekend, overshadowing Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s Week of Peace.
“Even over the Easter break, we saw a few things that took place,” said Lanus.
He said enough is enough.
“There is definitely a need for a community walk to understand what our community feels, what they go through every single day when they walk outside of their homes and when they have to drive outside of their communities,” stated Lanus.
Some have said the violence has gotten out of control.
“I believe there is a better outcome beyond the grave prison. I implore mothers and fathers to intervene in the lives of young people before they become the next victim or perpetrator,” said Mayor Broome at the Metro Council meeting on April 15.
City-parish leaders said they hope their call to action is more than a week. They’re hoping it turns into a lifestyle. They say their strategies are long-term and can’t happen without having the community included in what’s going on.
Several community organizations, including 100 Black Men and the BR Street Team, are trying to touch as many areas as possible within this next week.
“We will be in the 70802 community and 70806 and 70805 zip code communities because we know that that’s where the most pertinent needs are right now,” said Lanus.
They are trying to figure out what resources they need most and discuss important tips like gun safety.
“We’re going to be giving out some gun locks right here. We also want to get commitment forms out to our community,” he said. “We want to make sure people have enough support out there so nobody has to go through that again.”
They have also into anti-violence curriculums to implement in schools to help step in and teach children while they’re young.
“It helps to lead a student down so many different dialogs and conversations that are currently not happening inside of our schools or may not be happening inside of the home,” explained Lanus.
Although this is declared a Week of Peace, city leaders are working towards a lifetime, getting the community involved and aligned with their plans. They said it takes everyone on board.