Taking a Stand: Youth group marches for peace

"It's important to show the community that we want it to stop ... a lot of people are getting killed; people are losing their sons, brothers, husbands due to ignorance."

NEW ORLEANS -- Dozens of young people marched down Jefferson Davis Parkway to raise awareness about violence in New Orleans. They're part of a Job Corps student led anti-violence initiative called Youth 2 Youth: Partners 4 Peace.

"It's important to show the community that we want it to stop," said 20-year-old Alicha Ellzey. "A lot of people are getting killed; people are losing their sons, brothers, husbands due to ignorance."  

And too many students know what that type of loss feels like firsthand. 

"I know a lot of people that have gotten killed this weekend due to gun violence and a couple weeks ago and a couple months ago, my friend got murdered and my sister got murdered too because of gun violence," said Lenora Ebanks. 

The message is serious, but the mood was not somber. There was music, food and a few games along with a lot of information from Crimestoppers, Peacekeepers and Youth Empowerment Project, among other organizations.

There were also a few speakers, including New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. 

"The majority of these kids are not going to be in trouble, but if we can divert one or two close to the drug culture and keep him or her focused on school and the positive things in life then I think it's a total success," Cannizzaro said.

"I would like to see no more violence, but that's probably not going to happen," Lenora said. "I wish it could decrease a lot because it's just nonsense ... why do we kill each other, what do we have to kill each other over?" 

To learn more about Youth2Youth: Partners 4 Peace, click here

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