DALLAS - Several Dallas neighborhoods are trying to spread a message of peace, and calling for an end to gun violence.
In light of recent high profile shootings, the Bonton and Ideal neighborhoods in South Dallas came together Saturday morning for a back to school event with a commitment to stopping the violence.
The community there has been hosting this back to school event for the past 13 years, but organizers say recent gun violence inspired them to direct their efforts towards coming together and “stomping out the violence.”
It was a back to school bash, complete with free backpack and school supply giveaways, along with free haircuts.
But it's packed with a deeper message.
“We do a back to school jam every year, but this year was something very inspiring for us. Our kids came to us discussing the issues of our community and one was gun violence,” said Sherri Mixon, executive director of the TR Hoover Multipurpose Center. “And we were wondering, how could we get a voice for our kids on this day? So we came up with the “Stomp The Violence” movement.”
One of the students who helped come up with the idea was 17-year-old Destiny Seaton, who lost two of her classmates to gun violence earlier this summer.
“We all knew who they were, and we all knew they grew up in the South Dallas area, and they all attended Lincoln High School,” she said.
The event was inspired by the deaths of three teens who had ties to the community center, and died about a week apart in early July.
Gregory Horton III, 17, and Zacchaeus Banks died in a drive-by shooting at the Roseland Townhomes near Munger and Washington.
It's the same complex where 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett recently died after being shot when a suspect fired at the wrong apartment.
“As a community, we just have to hold each other accountable,” Aundrey Evans said.
Evans says his nephew - 18-year-old Triston Bradley - was killed in a drive-by while driving home in his Jeep.
“He was getting ready to go to college, Prairie View, and now we have to bury them and it's just…the family is still in pieces,” he said.
The community is now saying enough is enough with the “Stomp The Violence” message to their community.
“If we patrol our own streets, if we walked our kids to school ourselves, we pick them up, we do the things we know we need to do and get off our butts and do them, it will be a better community,” Evans added.
“More talking with one another, more collaboration with one another, more critical thinking before we do things to end conversations forever,” Mixon added.