07/02/17 — Impact teens July 8 event

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Impact teens July 8 event

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on July 2, 2017 1:45 AM

Impact Teens Goldsboro is organizing a peace walk and asking residents to pledge their commitment to help reduce violence in the city on July 8.

The Impact Peace Walk will start at 6 p.m. at the Cornerstone Commons, near the corner of Center and Chestnut Streets in downtown Goldsboro. The event, which is open to the general public, will start with a prayer for the community and continue with the walk that will end at Hollowell Street.

The ending location of the walk is significant, with the site being near 410 Hollowell St. where Desconte Bryant, an 18-year-old Goldsboro High student, was shot on May 28. Bryant, who was transported to Vidant Medical Center, died from the wounds one day later.

Participants will be asked to pledge their commitment to work together to build a better city, said Khalil Cobb, founder and chief executive officer of Impact Teens.

"We plan on walking from Cornerstone Commons, down East Spruce Street onto Hollowell Street where the life of Desconte was taken away, and we actually are planning a pledge for everyone who attends the walk to agree upon that our community will work with each other, so that young people who are tempted to violence will put their weapons down and join us in a way that will build a better city," Cobb said.

The pledge, a special tribute to Bryant and a song are planned at the Hollowell Street site.

Local officials, community leaders and area residents have been invited to attend. The event is also taking place to continue bringing awareness to gun violence in Goldsboro.

Since January, five homicides have taken place in Goldsboro, and the number is tracking closely to the number of slayings recorded between January and June 2016.

The overall homicide rate of 11 deaths in 2016 was the highest the city has experienced since 2012, when there were 13 killings. A sharp decline followed in 2013, when there were five homicides, but the number of violent deaths has steadily increased since that time.

The upcoming peace walk is the second event recently organized by Impact Teens Goldsboro. The group held a citywide prayer night, which drew close to 100 people to the Cornerstone Commons, on June 7.

The prayer vigil was held to remember several teens who lost their lives to gun violence, including Donald Girtley Jr., an 18-year-old Goldsboro resident, who was shot and killed in Kinston on May 31. Girtley planned to join the military after graduating from Goldsboro High School.

"In order for us to make a change in our community, we must do more things together for those changes to take place," Cobb said.