BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (WIAT)- An effort aimed at reducing violence throughout Birmingham continued Saturday, as the Victory over Violence tour visited the Kingston community.
The Victory over Violence tour is made up of organizations that include the Housing authority, City of Birmingham, and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham.
Saturday was a fun day with basketball, snacks, and face painting. But it also was to sent a message that violence isn’t the answer. Organizers wore shirts that said stop, think, and live.
“It helps reduce violence in communities where everybody comes out and mingles with each other and also get to know the Birmingham police department,” said Moral Voice committee chair Johnqueta Bailey.
Gerrel Jones is part of the Birmingham Violence Reduction Initiative. He interacted with the kids Saturday and showed support to the Kingston community. He knows about the violence first hand. He served 20 years in prison for a 1992 homicide.
“Most shameful thing I did in my life because it was so shameful I turned myself in. I stabbed a man to death,” said Jones.
He said he’s turned his life around. He’s an author, and with the BVRI, he talks with gang members and at risk kids on a daily basis, trying to make a difference.
“Help you get on that track if you need job training if your eligible able to get a job, tattoo removal, crisis housing whatever it is you need, a support group, mentoring, whatever it is you need so you can put your life on track,” said Jones.
The next stop for the Victory over Violence tour moves on the Gate City community.