EAST ORANGE, NJ - The City of East Orange hosted a March for Peace on Saturday, August 12th at 8:00 am beginning at Hollywood Ave & Central Ave and ending at Oval Park to focus awareness on the devastating impact of guns and violence in our community.  The event was marketed as a celebration for the Community United As One Day to bring about awareness with music, food, youth activities, vendors, sports, back to school giveaways and more.

The inspiration for the event was birthed by Deborah and Dy-Shawn Simpkins in response to the senseless act of violence that took the lives of their son Dy-Shawn Simpkins Jr., 18, along with their nephew Kee-Ayre Griffin, 29, who were killed in a triple shooting in East Orange.

4th Ward Councilman Casim Gomez replies, “It was amazing all the support East Orange received today for the March for Peace. The plague of Gun Violence is not quarantined to a single City or community and the remedy is going to take the input of as many concerned citizens as possible. 

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Gun Violence is not just a problem here, it is a National issue.  As the White House declares opioids a National Epidemic, those who suffer under this infection of senseless killings ask,

‘Where is the alarm for Gun Violence that torments Our Neighborhoods?’

Violence has become so common that many of us have become desensitized to it. We feel that we are immune until it touches us, our family, our friends; then we are overwhelmed.

We need to work between these extremes; find a balance between the apathy and grief. That is the path towards peace. Not the fairytale, magical peace, but one that is earned from effort, commitment and patience. 

We are going to have to continue to help each other in order for this process to grow and manifest a Cure. True change comes from the People,  it has to be organic. It must be nourished and nurtured. 

That's why I am so inspired by our rally, because it represents our Community...our people getting involved to heal our Neighborhoods”.