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Black leaders in Pittsburgh call for peace

By Chris Hoffman

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    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Black leaders in Pittsburgh are calling for peace on our streets.

They want to reach the root of the problem by setting up programs over the next few months. They’ve had enough and want to keep young people alive.

There was a call for peace Thursday morning on the campus of the Community College of Allegheny County.

“I want to go to more graduations than funerals,” Pastor Cornell Jones said.

Several local elected leaders and community groups are holding several “peace-building” activities over the next few months.

“It doesn’t matter what community you live in, whether it’s Northview or Squirrel Hill, you should have to right to the same safety,” District 13 Allegheny County Councilwoman Liv Bennet said.

Eric Giles of the North Side feels violence is not the first choice for anyone.

“Even the people committing violence, they’re doing it probably as a last resort. We have to give everyone choices before that last resort,” Giles said.

He believes there needs to be a strong relationship and trust with the police and the community for peace in the streets to exist. They should be neighbors, not one ruling the other.

“They need to be with the people and coming up because a safer community is safer for them and everyone in it,” Giles said.

Some of the peace building includes intimate partner violence workshops, faith and blue meetings. These leaders want trusted community members to reach those impacted by violence.

“When you continue to go after the symptoms without addressing the root infection, you’re going to continue to get the symptoms,” Bennett said.

This will all culminate in a “peace summit” next year.

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