Newport News event encourages youth to be peaceful

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Members of the community came together to help curb violence in the community.

The Andrew Shannon 20th annual Step Show and Drumline took place at Denbigh Community Center.  It brought together experts in several different fields; including domestic violence and human trafficking. There were grief and loss experts who taught people how to forgive attackers who have killed their loved ones.

There were also former convicts who spoke to people about getting their lives back on track. Shannon started the event 20 years ago in Fluvanna County.

“There was always a concern for crime and violence, so we wanted to find ways where we could reduce violence,” says Shannon about creating the event.

Law enforcement and elected officials gathered before the show to discuss ways to help stop violent crime in the community.

Shannon believes that one of the ways to help, is to hold events like this for youth, so they can see the importance of being good citizens for the greater good.

Shannon, who is the vice president for the state’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says the events are in coordination with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Dr. King was shot and killed 49 years ago in April. The best way to remember Dr. King is to talk about peace and non-violence,” Shannon says.

Councilman Marcellus Harris also played a role in bringing the event to Newport News. The two believe that events like this can bring the community together.