Milwaukee teens to hold peace rally in wake of recent violence

CREATED May 30, 2014 - UPDATED: May 30, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- It's been a violent few weeks in Milwaukee, with multiple homicides and the shooting of a 10 year old girl on a playground. In the wake of this violence, the teens of Agape Community Center will hold a peace rally to promote a peaceful summer.

The peace rally will include guest speakers and poetry, as well as the unveiling of a peace mural.

"Peace is almost a learned behavior,” said Al Luzi, Director of Development at the Agape Community Center. “If you're not brought up in that environment to respect your community, to respect where you live, respect others, and see that demonstrated through your parents and your family, you don't learn that."

Earlier this month, mayor Tom Barrett asked people to put down their weapons as part of 'Ceasefire Week.' Despite the initiative, that included a gun buyback, the crime spree didn't slow down. But it was the shooting of 10 year old Sierra Guyton, on a playground last week, that really made the community say, enough is enough.

"I’m a big Beatles fan. I’m a big John Lennon fan. All I’m saying is, give peace a chance," Luzi said.

Friday night, the teenagers will sign a 'peace treaty.' They hope others sign as well and pledge their support for a peaceful summer.

“I also think it's worthwhile, because everyone has to be a part of this. I think safe communities are everybody's responsibility. It can't be one neighborhood. It can't be one section of town," adds Luzi.

The teenagers picked up paintbrushes and paint and came up with a mural. The images are their interpretations of harmony.

He says some of the young artists who painted the mural have seen violence in their own neighborhoods.

The mural will be unveiled tonight during the rally. The rally will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Agape Community Center.