TOLEDO â?? Dozens of community residents rallied in central Toledo Saturday to bring awareness to a community in need. Their message: â??Stop the Violence.â??
The rally started at Inez Nash Park, where Community Activist passed out T-shirts and prepared food for the group. Shortly after, the group marched down E. Bancroft Street. The â??Stop the Violenceâ?? Rally Saturday was just one of the many events organized by former gang members, including Shaâ??nez Henry Allen. Allen says he first joined a gang when he was only 11 years old.
â??I was an ex- gang member growing up in my community," Allen said, â??I had to grow up fast.â??
Allen, who is now a Nurse, says he changed his life and started helping others when he realized his dream was to become a Physician. He says chose the Inez Nash Park and the route down E. Bancroft Street because several crimes happen in the area.
State Senator Edna Brown of District 11 was also at the rally. "When I think back on my youth as a young person.â?? said State Senator Edna Brown, â??You remember these types of events, you remember things going on in the community, and you remember the children you saw at these events."
The group says the message wonâ??t stop here. They will continue to rally against gangs and violence.