Dozens walk through downtown Birmingham for 'March of Hope'

Dozens walk through downtown Birmingham for 'March of Hope'

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Dozens of people came to Birmingham for a national event which highlights violence against black men in America.

On Tuesday evening, a large group of people walked through downtown Birmingham for the "March for Hope."

The march ended at the Civil Rights Institute.

Mayors and community leaders from 35 cities across the country took part in the march that represents hope for the future of black males in America.

This is part of the annual "Cities United" event where violence against black boys and men is being discussed.

The goal is to come up with solutions to reduce violence in communities.

After the march, there was a news conference outside of the Civil Rights Institute.

During the news conference, one thing brought up to address the violence is to improve relations between the community and police.

"Neighbors you need to stop being silent. I don't believe there is a situation where nobody knows who shot a person who died. I don't believe there are no suspects in almost 50 percent of killings of black boys in the nation," said Dr. Bell.

Organizers say addressing the problem is all about giving black males a sense of purpose in their lives, which starts with creating job opportunities and instilling the importance of education.

"When we look at and see violence going on across the country it's not just because young people want to kill somebody, it's not because they woke up and said 'I don't like you therefore I'm going to take your life.' There's something missing in the eyes of too many young children across this nation," said Dr. William C. Bell with Casey Family Programs.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell also spoke and says violence against black males and the lives lost have created a new sense of urgency.

Over the next two days, there will be meetings to discuss the issue of violence as well as ways to improve the lives of black males.

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