Baltimore residents are working together to stop the violence plaguing the city.
"It breaks my heart every single time a life is lost, but we don't slow down for that reason. We speed up," Baltimore Ceasefire volunteer Anita Phillips said. "The city is struggling against a lot of really big problems but we are attacking them for grassroots level and the leaders of Baltimore Ceasefire have inspired people all over the city to keep doing it."
This weekend, the organization Baltimore Ceasefire called on residents to lay down their weapons for 72 hours. They also held dozens of events to celebrate life, like a prayer walk in West Baltimore, to visit the places where peoples lives have been taken by violence.
"Baltimore ceasefire is about life-affirming events and so for us, prayer is a life affirming event. It’s showing that we hope that we have faith, that were are inspired and when people see us, we believe that inspires them as well," Phillips said.
Another event featured a Baltimore artists work in portraying the victims lost to gun violence.
"Put them all together, the truth of who we really lose to gun violence will really stand out. It can't be denied," artist Kimberly Sheridan said. "You can argue numbers all you want, but unless you meet them face to face and see their stories and bring them all together from every background, and realize the appalling scope in person, only then might it hit home why we need sensible federal gun safety legislation."
This is the fourth city-wide ceasefire since the organization started in August 2017.
So far this year, there have been 101 murders in Baltimore. During the fourth ceasefire weekend, there were none. The most recent ceasefire held in February lasted 12 days without a murder.
Organizers hope to keep the grassroots movement growing to change the story of the city.
"We are determining the narrative of Baltimore. We are saying who we are. We are families. We are people who love where they are from. We are people who love their neighborhoods, who love their churches and we absolutely will have that narrative rise to the top and be what is known about Baltimore," Phillips said.
Over the next two months, organizers will be visiting some of the place where peoples lives have been taken by violence, to remember the victims. To see a full list, click here.