DALLAS - This weekend, people from all walks will come together at Fair Park to try and find new solutions to spiraling crime and gang violence.
This coming together is being called ”Enough is Enough,” challenging the community to stop the violence.
“When I attended Lincoln, Lincoln and Dallas was under siege similar to what it looks like now,” said Germaine Gaspard.
Gaspard grew up in South Dallas, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1995.
The last 19 years, he’s been a state trooper.
“I’ve been in Dallas for most of my life. I got in trouble in Dallas, I got out of trouble in Dallas,” said King Ashoka.
Ghana-native King Ashoka and state trooper Germaine Gaspard are on a journey with city leaders to end the violence across South Dallas.
“[We want] hundreds of good people in this community to come out and say, ‘Look, we want our community, we want it to be able to flourish,’” Gaspard said.
“Enough is Enough: No more violence community conference” with those who govern our city, guard our streets, and men who grew up in gangs, thinking out loud new ways to curtail crime.
“We all hit an enough is enough point. It is about hitting that point and then finding solutions to go forward and move forward,” Gaspard said.
The African American Museum at Fair Park is where all walks of life will come together Saturday.
“We're going to have a bold, candid community conversation about gang violence and how to put a stop to it,” said Gary Griffith, president of Safer Dallas.
[REPORTER: “How do you get the youth and the community to listen to you when there's pushback against law enforcement, especially state troopers?] “Again, I think that pushback is based on there not being a communication there. The relationship has to be evolved first, right? No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” Gaspar responded.
Ashoka runs the non-profit S.L.A.P., Saving Lives, Assisting People.
“It’s important that everybody gets together and understand the problem, and the problem is not going away unless we all do something about it collectively,” Ashoka said.
“This is about a large community partnership. No one entity and no one group can get this solved in a vacuum. Police can’t go do it by themselves. We have to come together as a community,” Griffith said.
Hoping the Chinese proverb holds true: A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
“It’s going to be a giant step and we're going to continue to move, continue to move, continue to move,” Gaspar added.
The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, at the African American Museum in Fair Park.
Griffith said they will leave Saturday with a “what's next” plan, and will summarize the new ideas they hope to attempt.