Community gathers to bring awareness to gun violence, healing for victims

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Poor People’s Campaign hosted an event in collaboration with local faith and community organizations to bring awareness to gun violence conerns.

The prayer and meditation took place at the South Wedge Mission on Caroline St.

Residents directly impacted by gun violence shared testimonies at the prayer service. One of those was Michael Marshall, co-coordinator for Rochester Poor People’s campaign.

“I would like to say that this issue is too grave and too important for people to not speak out on and not get involved, it’s not just city-wide, not just state-wide, it’s an issue that’s huge and epidemic in our country,” said Marshall.

Marshall says he used to live in the 19th Ward, in the midst of a grave amount of violence. It moved him to speak out and encourage others to take a stand and share their stories.

During the service, members actually hammered guns into gardening tools. It was inspired from the biblical scripture of Micah; turning swords into plowshares.

“We can engage the community to have healing and to have awareness brought about in terms of the impact gun violence is doing to our citizens and to our community and really to get people involved.”

To get involved, Marshall says you can reach out to Roc the Peace, an organization that advocates against gun violence, or the Poor People’s Campaign.

They work in conjunction with elected officials, faith leaders and other organizations to all stand against violence.

The event today, also reflecting on Indigenous People’s Day, which is October 11.

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