In 2016 there were 22 homicides in Prince William County due to a mixture of gang violence and domestic violence. An artist by the name of Alexis Gomez took matters into his own hands and came up with an idea to create gravestones for each of the homicides and placed them near or at the site of the tragedy. He documented the process in an effort to bring awareness to the immense loss our community was taking. He created the hashtag #SAVEPWC and it created a buzz all over social media, even leading him to be featured in The Washington Post!
A few months before the new year Alexis and friend Gabriella decided they wanted to organize a positive event to bring together our community and youth, thus Peace Within the City was born. On Friday January 13th they had made their idea a reality and brought together many young artists to display their artwork, clothing vendors including SkyboX and Vintage by Kayla and had spoken word recited by Tavon Hamlet. They also had DJ Kerly on the turn tables and a photo booth as well! Many people came out to admire the art from these young talents and a lot of familiar faces were in the building too!
Overall the event was a huge success and it was an amazing way to kick off 2017. It was an opportunity to come together and be the change we want to see in our community. I thought this event really put perspective into the crime rate and how we can improve on that this year. By coming together and organizing more positive events like this throughout the year, we could really make a difference and raise even more awareness to the issues in our community (not just the gang violence) so solutions can be made. Change begins with the realization of the issues and with our youth! Thank you to Alexis and Gabby for putting everything together, taking steps to create a safer home and environment and for being the role models we all needed. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the talents and vendors, and a special thank you to the parents and family members who came out to show their support for a great cause for our area. May all the souls lost in last years violence Rest In Peace.
Read The Washington Post’s article here: