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West Akron Religious Leaders Say Legislation, Voter Registration Keys to 'Victory Over Violence'

photo of Victory Over Violence
The Victory Over Violence march began at Providence Baptist Church and moved down Copley Road before several speakers rallied the crowd with anti-violence messages.

Several Akron churches hosted a rally against violence over the weekend, and their pastors say it’s just the first step toward engaging people in their West Akron neighborhoods.

10-year-old Amir Johnson wrote a special anti-violence song for Saturday’s “Victory Over Violence” rally. Organizers say it’s a response to the increasing number of violent crimes in the city. Pastor Kevin Rushing of United Baptist Church says the goal of past marches was awareness, but now it’s time to take action. He plans to start calling on community members to band together to stop the violence.

“Even if they are literally standing on the street corners at night, to make sure that our young people aren’t committing violence against each other. We’re looking for steps like that.”

Rushing adds that pastors in West Akron also plan to ask City Council to consider anti-violence legislation.