'Unity in the community:' North Philadelphia neighbors plan anti-violence family event

Bryanna Gallagher Image
Sunday, July 10, 2022
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"I'm glad kids are out having fun. It's all about that, a positive alternative," said Michael Robinson, senior pastor at Greater Enon Missionary Baptist Church.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A campaign that stands for anti-violence among Philadelphians, 'Unity in the Community.' On Saturday night, North Philadelphia neighbors gathered for a family friendly and violence-free evening.

It comes at a time when the city needs more unity.

"I'm glad kids are out having fun. It's all about that, a positive alternative," said Michael Robinson, senior pastor at Greater Enon Missionary Baptist Church.

Thanks to Robinson, the Philadelphia Film Society, and other community partners, the anti-violence event came together.

"By doing this, having all these free activities and recourses. It's an incentive for folks to come out and enjoy themselves and inspire other community leaders to do the same in their neighborhood," Robinson said.

Organizers hope community leaders in other neighborhoods see this, and plan events where they live.

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"We hear about violence in Philadelphia again and again, but what we don't hear about, is how wonderful the relationship between neighbors are," said Madeline Charne, director of education with the Philadelphia Film Society.

Organizers say it takes a collaborative effort to see change.

"There wouldn't be, I don't think, as much violence as there is as the fact they would be engaged with something to do, kids can't be bored and some can't afford to go to camp," said Gail Carmack-Nlachlan of North Philadelphia.

The anti-violence event comes after an especially violent week in the city.

The Philly Film Society encourages community leaders to reach out because they'll help with planning a movie on the block night.

Meanwhile, the new curfew is in effect to help curb the violence in the city. All Philadelphia teens aged 14 to 17 now have to be inside by 10 p.m. unless accompanied by a guardian.