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Rally Up seeks ways to stop the violence in W-S

Rally Up seeks ways to stop the violence in W-S
September 06
05:00 2018

In response to the recent rise in violent crimes in the area, Rally Up Winston-Salem, a grassroots organization against street and gang violence, is bringing people together to share their thoughts, feelings, and solutions to the issues currently plaguing the city.

Last Saturday, Sept. 1, Rally Up launched an initiative to have open discussions with residents where most of the violence is taking place to allow everyone an open platform to express themselves. During the event titled “Project Ground Zero: Real Talk for a Real Time,” held at Rupert Bell Park, more than a dozen residents came out to find feasible solutions to the violence.

Statistics show in just the first seven months of the year, the Winston-Salem Police Department has responded to more than 1,300 violent crimes. According to the crime stats available on the city’s website, violent crimes – including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault – has increased 19.7 percent since 2016. And the worst part is that trend doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. In just the past few weeks, several incidents have resulted in someone being injured or killed by senseless gun violence.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, officers found Jeremiah Hardy-Praylor, 19, and Gregory Mobley Jr., 23, dead from gunshots in an SUV near Easton Park. According to reports, officers were called to the 1200 block of Glencairn around 12:30 p.m. when they found the men unresponsive inside a dark-green Isuzu Rodeo. Three weeks later, 48-year-old Timothy Ford was shot inside his apartment on 17th Avenue and later died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Ford’s death marked the 18th homicide in the city this year.

At a place in time where it seems as if someone is falling victim to senseless bloodshed on a weekly basis, Cory D. McCann and Richard Singletary decided they wanted to do more to combat violence through educational awareness, community forums, and social events. While discussing the organization last weekend, McCann said the ultimate goal of Rally Up Winston-Salem (RUWS) is to serve the community.

“We’re tired of seeing mothers crying about having to bury their 17-, 19-, 23-year-old sons over things that are senseless. We’re tired of not being able to go outside and not have our kids play in our backyards. And more importantly, we want to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice in our communities,” said McCann. “… We believe in going to Ground Zero where things are happening. Brother Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, they went to where the problems were, so if we’re going to be an organization, we have to meet the people where they are.” 

Singletary said when McCann asked him to help get the organization get started, he jumped at the opportunity to make a difference in the community where he was born and raised. He said, “It’s time we come together and take our city back because I’m tired of seeing R.I.P. Its time for a change.”

After McCann led the conversation with a few guide questions, the group of concerned residents openly conversed about several topics including, domestic violence, the importance of making connections, the role media plays in influencing the younger generation, the importance of education and much more.

On Saturday, during the hourlong conversation held on the basketball court at Rupert Bell, Effrainguan Muhammad said the Black community has to get back to Black Love. He continued, “It’s OK for us to love ourselves. That does not negate loving humanity because we love everybody.

“The problem here in Winston-Salem is we don’t demonstrate that love.”

Rally Up Winston-Salem holds open discussions the third Thursday of every month at Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center. For more information or to learn how to get involved, contact Cory McCann at cmccann1985@nullgmail.com or by phone at (336) 602-9844.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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