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These faith leaders are hoping to slow rash of gun violence: 'Enough is enough'

These faith leaders are hoping to slow rash of gun violence: 'Enough is enough'
Posted at 5:35 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-13 12:12:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Gun violence is taking the lives of young people across the area seemingly week after week.

They're headlines that Dr. Derwin Hickman, Sr. just can't ignore and lately, they have gripped his heart in a profound way.

"Children are being taken away. They have no opportunity to grow up and experience life and that's not the way God intended it to be," Hickman said.

Dr. Hickman pastors Divine World Changers International with his wife Franswella. On May 14, they will bring together local churches, community advocates and others for a walk with a goal.

Operation Compassion's goal is to be a light for young people in the area. The walk will begin at 11 a.m. at the Gayton Road Church.

The plan is to expand their efforts and target young people in Richmond as well as in Chesterfield and Petersburg.

Hickman believes gun violence is a problem that impacts the whole community and said that now is the time for citizens to stand up.

"I think we need to create safe places throughout each community where you have an opportunity, a place where a child and family can go and get some resources and some support," Hickman said.

Pastor Hickman said they have church members whose lives have been upended by gun violence.

His family and quite the scare of their own when their son came face-to-face with a gunman.

"He was trying to stop some guys from coming to a party. A verbal confrontation happened and a guy pulled out a gun and shot at him," Hickman said.

Hickman told CBS6 Problem Solvers that they need neighbors, mental health counselors and more to collaborate with them on the gun violence outreach effort.

"We are going to walk and we will have educational speakers that'll come out and we will have law enforcement that'll come out and shake hands and say, not everyone is against you. It is everyone's problem. It's not just an urban problem, so we are looking for as many people to get on board as we can," Hickman said. "It is time to take our rightful place in the community and say enough is enough. We have to stop this violence and we have to do it in a different way."