CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–A 29-year-old was shot in the stomach outside of a home on the corner of Bradley Ave. and State Street on Friday afternoon. Police in Champaign believe the victim is in serious condition.
It’s violence like Friday afternoon’s shooting that is spurring groups into action. HV Neighborhood Transformation organized a peace walk that was supposed to move down Bradley, where that same shooting happened.
In the latest march, which is a part of HV’s 40 Days of Peace Initiative, organizers planned to honor the mother’s in the community who’ve lost their children to gun violence.
“I’m tired of seeing my young people go to jail, tired of seeing my young people die, tired of seeing moms cry,” HV’s lead organizer Maurice Hayes said. “I’m just fed up w it all and I hope the community is too.”
The shooting that happened along Bradley forced marchers to alter course. It’s another instance of how devastating the epidemic of gun violence is to the community.
“I’m frustrated with it,” Hayes said. “Even seeing that, on the day we do this march for these specific reasons, to be out there when people are shooting, it’s frustrating man.”
The group marched from Garden Hills to Beardsley Park. When they arrived, they held a moment of silence, and gave roses to the affected moms.
“What I hope this does is shows the community, and those who partake in this, that we’re not standing for it,” Hayes said. “We stand firm against it all.”
Beyond this march, Hayes is encouraging people who have experienced trauma to come talk with them at the HVNT office in Urbana. He said speaking up is just as important as marching.
“This is part of it, this is community building,” Hayes said. “As you see, with all the people here right now, we’re building the community by doing this. And we’ll continue to do that, we’ll continue to bring light to it because ultimately we’re going to be the ones that have to save ourselves.”
And on Saturday, they’ll be back out at Beardsley park for their next community celebration. That’ll be taking place from 12:00 to 7:00 PM.