BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Hundreds of people from the faith community gathered at the Bill Harris Arena to stand together against gun violence.
Onoyemi Williams is one of the organizers of the effort to put an end to the violence in the community.
“Given the amount of violence we’ve seen in Birmingham, especially gun violence, we are asking the faith community to step from behind the walls of the church and to join us to stop gun violence,” Williams said.
The Sunday Stand Against Gun Violence included local pastors and people of faith who are implementing anti-gun violence work at the street level by participating in walks, prayer, and research focused on saving lives in Alabama.
Members of the Birmingham Peacemakers also called on Mayor Randall Woodfin to address specific and concrete steps for reducing gun violence in Birmingham.
“When a person loses all hope, then they lose all regard for life and a lot of them based on socio-economics of their communities they’ve lost all hope,” Williams said. “So they are turning to the one thing that allows them to have a sense of power and that is a weapon.”
Sunday’s program hits home for 13-year-old Makiah Barrow. Her 18-year-old brother was shot last December but survived his injuries. Barrow shared his story in front of the large crowd because she wants to help other young people.
“Living in Birmingham, there is a lot of violence. It’s nothing new and we are used to it but that’s not good,” Barrow said. “Because we shouldn’t be used to our family members or our peers getting murdered every day, that’s not right.”
Mayor Randall Woodfin made remarks to the audience at the event.