0830 GMT April 03, 2020
The event, 'Save Our Streets,' was held at the Jon R. Hunt Plaza in Downtown South Bend to raise awareness that the community is fed up and wants change. Now they want your help to put an end to the senseless violence, wndu.com reported.
"Stop the violence, we want peace," they chanted from the plaza.
"Really what we're trying to do is empower the people here," said E-Lexus Thornton, the president of the Black Student Union at IUSB.
"And we thought what better way to do it than a rally?"
"The violence needs to stop," said Craig Perry of Majestic Security.
"It seriously needs to stop because we're losing too many kids.
This year alone, three 17-year-olds were killed by gun violence within 38 days of each other, but the voices asking for change don't always seem to be enough.
"It's really important to come out and listen and understand exactly where people are coming from," said Councilwoman Regina Williams-Preston of District Two.
"Things change when you get involved, but it's not just getting involved when the cameras are up. It's getting involved in those late night meetings, those meetings where you're tired, you don't want to be there."
Williams-Preston said it's important these people come to council meetings on Monday nights because that's where community change happens.
"Until we're in those spaces where decision makers are making those decisions, we're going to fall short," she said.
Event organizers stress it's important that we also see into the minds of these children and what causes them to turn to violence.
"Why are children shooting people, why are children getting shot?" said Thornton.
"The answer is not to just throw them in jail, the answer is to get to the root of the problem. What is going on in their heads? What can we do to help solve the problem in their heads? How can we make the relationship with them, better? How can we stop the violence?"
It was agreed that coming together at rallies like this is a start.
We want them to know there are people here in South Bend that are actually trying to empower and teach people to love themselves and unify and do well in the community," Thornton said.
“If you guys hear anything, speak up,” said Perry. "South Bend speak up if you don't speak up nothing's not going to get done it's just going to keep happening, keep happening."
The group wants the violence to stop and they said educating our kids is also a start. There are multiple resources in the community like the Fremont Park Youth Foundation, and the Nu Black Power Movement have a mission to inform and educate the community about these issues.
They said you can help out by being there for kids when they need your help, especially if they don't have two stable parents.