Local leaders, Providence community come together to honor families of victims killed by violence

"Unfortunately, the predominant number of violence we have is young men in the community, they know each other on both sides of the gun."

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- After six shootings in three days, local leaders and the nonviolence institute held the annual Invest in Peace Celebration Sunday afternoon.

The event was in honor of families who’ve lost loved ones due to violence.

Family members released balloon doves into the air, in remembrance of their loved ones who’ve had their lives cut short.

Leaders like Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements says events like Sunday’s are imperative to the community.

“It’s important as we’ve seen this huge uptick in gun violence and gang violence not only in Providence but around the country,” Clements exclusively told ABC6. “Unfortunately, we’re experiencing this right now.”

Chief Clements has served on the Board of Nonviolence for several years. He emphasized the importance of guiding youth at a young age and said the Nonviolence Institute’s Street Workers program plays a huge part in addressing the issue. Ex-offenders share their experiences with young men in the community, in hopes to steer them down the right path.

“Unfortunately, the predominant number of violence we have is young men in the community, they know each other on both sides of the gun.”

Providence marked its 19th homicide of the year just one day before. A man in his 30s was shot and killed inside of a Broad Street cafe just after 9 a.m.

“We just ask that people continue to keep peace and love in their hearts and minds. Pray for the families that are suffering,” said Cedric Huntley, Executive Director of the Nonviolence Institute.

Huntley told ABC6 he hopes the event brings the community together and gets the wheels turning on important conversations that need to be had.

ABC6 spoke with James Vincent, President of Providence’s NAACP Branch, who agreed with Huntley’s statement.

“It’s all about communication. It’s all about dialogue, talking to each other. Because the problems are daunting. We need to come together and work hard so we can have a better Providence. A better Rhode Island.”

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island