ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — With the City of Rochester at 44 homicides to date, law enforcement officials, faith and community leaders, and residents alike joined together Tuesday to speak out and create an action plan with the help of a local organization.

The organization, Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County, organized the gathering at the Tops Market on Upper Falls Boulevard, demanding a stop to the violence and calling for more than just talk.

Leaders said there needs to be more real action, with many offering some solutions and plans for what that action could look like.

One faith leader described this moment in the city as deep and heavy, saying the entire community is in a state of feeling numb.

The Salvation Army urged those looking to get involved to help by volunteering. Other leaders spread a message that each person, regardless of background, profession, or age, could help by putting their love and positivity into their own respective spheres of influence — that is, work on positively affecting whoever they see regularly.

At one point, Rochester Police Officer Moses Robinson became incredibly emotional when talking about not only having to lay his brother in blue to rest, but for all the others in the community who had to do the same for the loved ones they lost due to gun violence.

“The planning that is taking place right now over those people who are going to be buried,” officer Robinson said. “How much more can we take? I’m sorry, but I’m feeling this. And we’re striving to do the best we can, but we need help and we need help from the community.”

City Council Member Mercedes Vazquez Simmons translated for her mother, Elaine, who spoke to the community in Spanish. Elaine has been a resident here since 1964 and is a civil rights activist.

Elaine says that the key to enacting change is through bravery by supporting each other.

“She’s asking the people of this community to not be fearful of what’s happening. This is the time to stand up to our community, this is the time that we should unite, we should put all of our political agendas to the side. We have to put our political divisions aside and unite. We are losing a generation of children to senseless violence,” Simmons summarized as the translation.

This August, there are several communities and family-oriented events planned to help stop the violence.

Uniting and Healing Through Hope of Monroe County will host “It’s a Family Affair” on August 13 and 14 at Highland Bowl. There will be a talent contest with up to $30,000 in cash as well as other prizes.

The August 13 event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the August 14 event from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

On Sunday, July 31, there will also be a church service from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There will be resource and food vendors, a battle of the bands, music from all genres, a modeling and fashion show, dance, step, poetry, spoken word and more.

Those wishing to participate in a talent contest can register at It’s $25 to enter for a solo act and $50 for a group one. Volunteers are still needed to staff the event.