by Free Press staff – The Quench the Violence organization joined forces with law enforcement, churches and other nonprofits for the 14th “Reversing the Cycle of Violence” community bike ride on the Northside. down Moncrief Rd. Over fifty community members, councilpersons, and uniformed members of Jacksonville Sheriff’s office (JSO) rode their bikes down Moncrief Rd. culminating at Lonnie C. Miller Park where a family event was held. Once there, citizens of all ages enjoyed a car show and step show performances. A highlight of the day was the sharing of special remarks form parents and family members of youth lost as a result of community violence.
The event’s founder is the brainchild of Rev. Robert LeCount, a local pastor who lost a son to violence. He remains committed to mentoring and empowering youth to stay calm, using their communication skills and higher level thinking to solve issues and refrain from violent acts. Since its inception over a decade ago, the organization has a speakers bureau and focuses on awareness of the chilling homicide statistics that plaque our city.
“Our community’s future is relying on the development of thoughtful, engaged young men and women as emerging leaders who know how to address conflict in healthy, collaborative and peaceful ways,” LeCount explained. “Even in light of Covid-19, with the overwhelming and growing presence of youth violence in Jacksonville, we knew we had to continue to promote peace and harmony in our neighborhoods with an event this year.” Parents of slain youth shared compelling and poignant stories of the loss of their teens. To learn more about or provide support to this annual initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.