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13-year-old rapper calls for an end to violence: 'I just want stuff to get better'

13-year-old rapper calls for an end to violence: 'I just want stuff to get better'
Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 18:17:37-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield mother and a teenage rapper have combined their voices in an effort to stop the violence in their communities.

"Every time something happens, it's a teenager or a young adult between the ages of 15 to 25," anti-violence activist Shanda Gaston said. "Nothing has changed. It's heartbreaking."

Just this week, a school shooting in Newport News and copycat threats plagued schools in and around Richmond.

"Whether it's a joke or real, you never know what's going to happen. And as a parent, that's the scariest thing to come across," she said.

Gaston has chosen to turn that fear into action. She has organized a "Stop the Violence" halftime show for Saturday's football game between the VA Starz vs. Triad Tigers.

The event, which she hopes will bring the community together, will feature a motivational speech, a dance performance, and 13-year-old anti-bullying rapper Chyna Marie.

Marie was hopeful her message will inspire other young people to join her in stopping a crisis.

"People are getting hurt, and crimes and shootings and stuff like that. I just want stuff to get better," she said.

Gaston wanted to use the event to come up with a program that provides an outlet to youth who might not have a support system at home.

"It takes a village. One person can't do it. So if their parents can't do it, we are going to do it for them," she said. "We have to start somewhere because it's getting out of hand and we have to protect the kids."