Youth Center promotes peace with block party

The East End Community Center organized an event held on Tuesday evening at Fifth Street and Huffman Ave. to promote peace in their homes and neighborhoods.

The Second Annual Youth Center Neighborhood Block Party “L.E.A.R.N. PEACE” was used to promote peace and non-violence by the Center located at 624 Xenia Ave. in Dayton.

With gun violence so prevalent in their communities, the children served by the Center stepped forward and said, “We’ve got to do something about this.”

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“Nowadays,” said participant Luis Anguilar, “there’s fights and riots. Most of the time for just one little thing.”

Learning to find alternative ways to deal with problems is part of what they do at East End Community Center. Damean Moyer is a youth worker at the Center. “Seeing what my mom and dad went through made me want to do something better, because they’re trying to make me have a better life.”

Working with these children can be emotional. Kalynn Lhamon is an Americor volunteer from Lima who works with these children daily.

“They talk about fights at at their schools, fight that happen on the streets, fights that happen at home,” she explained. “It really breaks your heart.” “When something bad happens, that’s the first thing they jump to, fighting, instead of thinking of a different way.”

The children in the Learn Peace event enjoyed food, fun activities and student performances. They talked to each other about love, respect, and how important those feelings are to creating a peaceful society.

“It can be as little as saying hi to someone or opening a door for someone,” said youth worker Jaylyn Murray.

“Young people are the difference maker,” said Omega Street advocate Marlon Shackelford. “This community has decided to be a part of the difference.”