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'Push For Peace' Looks To Curb Violence In North Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A movement is underway in north Minneapolis to make a change in the streets -- it's called "Push for Peace."

The goal is to take the community back from violence, focusing on making a difference in the lives of kids.

The group of community activists and youth workers say the time of being afraid to walk down a sidewalk in north Minneapolis is over. They are dedicated to changing the lives of young people, and they plan to do it in a big way.

"We push for peace," said Trey Pollard, one of the leaders of the organization. "Making a difference in the lives of our youth and our community."

Pollard says his vision is to restore order to the family by engaging young people responsible for the violence that haunts the north side.

"They don't have no guidance. If you really think about it, a lot of these parents out here are afraid of their own kids," he said. "Their kids come and go when they want. They don't go to school. They do what they want."

Pollard reached out to friends in 42 states, he says several thousand have committed to being in north Minneapolis on May 9.

"It's time for us as a community to take our community back," he said.

The group will be split into groups of four and stationed at different locations in the neighborhood: Lyndale and Broadway, Broadway and Penn, Lowry and Lyndale and Lowry and Penn.

First there will be a physical cleaning of the neighborhoods, then a march to New Salem Missionary Baptist Church where mentors will help guide youth to a better way of living.

"Going out here and saying, 'What's up? How you doing?' Going out here and initiating that relationship and get to deal with some of these issues," Push for Peace member Thomas Dixon said.

Issues they hope can be conquered to prevent scenes like the one downtown Minneapolis on St. Patrick's Day -- teens out of control.

Many think this type of behavior leads to gunplay and crime scene tape, an all too familiar scene in north Minneapolis.

The group says the time for meetings about violence and blaming others is over. They say its time to take back the community.

"This is our community," Pollard said. "How can we expect them to help us when we won't help ourselves?"

Leaders say Push for Peace welcomes all those who want to make a difference.


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