DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds gathered in Downtown Dallas Saturday night for a meeting to come up with ways to stop senseless violence in North Texas.
During the meeting, “Peace In Our Streets,” people pledged on cards to inspire action year round.
It was a personal mission for Denesha Ross who lost her son in 2013. Her 18-year-old, known as “Lil Snupe,” was murdered. He was on his way to becoming a rapper.
“Me as a mother, and other family members– we deal with this for the rest of our lives,” said Ross. “So I think bringing awareness can kind of change peoples’ minds. Think before you act.”
Several hundred passionate people with ideas to stop violence attended the town hall hosted by Bishop Omar Jahwar.
“This is our reality,” said Ross. “That we wake up and understand that the child we birthed is no longer here.”
Jahwar, the CEO of Urban Specialists, said a call to action has to be embraced by the overwhelming majority to vote an idea out.
“Those votes don’t happen at the polls– they happen here,” said Jahwar. “So when peoples’ hearts change, things change.”
Anthony Lucky, a member of Urban Specialists, is the embodiment of that transformation.
“At age 13 we started the first Blood gang in Dallas,” said Lucky. “It ultimately led me to prison.”
Lucky said he was then led to Bishop Omar who’s been mentoring him ever since. Together, they’ve been training people across the country how to reduce violence.
One of the most recent acts of violence against a rapper was the catalyst for the meeting.
Last month, rapper Yella Beezy survived a shooting on the Sam Rayburn Tollway in Lewisville.
After Beezy’s incident, Jahwar said young comedian Roy Lee Smith was killed.
“We felt like this needed to be done, not as some annual event, but as an emergency call to action,” said Jahwar.
The event ended with a call to action in which people signed a commitment to peace, in hopes the message heard Saturday night is spread.