July 4 'Keep 615 Alive' Event To Focus On Reducing Teen Violence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Local community groups are coming together this Fourth of July to spread the message about putting an end to teen violence in Nashville.

The "Keep 615 Alive" community event will be held at Hadley Park and is described as a free block party for teens and youth.

Nashville Peacemakers and Young World are co-sponsoring the event.

Tomario Pleasant, a Brentwood Academy senior who lost a friend to gun violence, said he wants other teens to know it's okay to go to college instead of getting involved in a gang.

"Violence is not the answer. It's so many other doors, other ways to go about life and be positive and give back and set an example for the younger people. That's what I'm trying to do, set an example for the younger people. People up under me," Pleasant said.

One organizer, known in the community as Coach Bandz, came up with the idea to have the event held for teens. He's worked alongside Pleasant and said it's better if kids hear about the "end gun violence" message from a young adult.

"It means a whole lot of difference when your peers actually want to say, 'That ain't cool.' We need to talk about living and talking about college and going to the next event, instead of being victims that they've been falling into, like victims to gun violence, drug overdoses, and other things," Bandz said.

The event runs from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. There will be free food, a disc jockey, and performances by local artists.

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