Philadelphia Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, local rapper use social media to combat gun violence

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Philadelphia City Council Member Kenyatta Johnson hosted a “Peace Not Guns” Stop the Violence Community Day event in Wharton Square Park on Saturday.

The event welcomed families and youth from across the city and focused on violence prevention.

“I’ve lost friends to gun violence and disabled friends because of the senseless shootings that happen every day,” Johnson said. “The only way we’re going to have a city of peace without guns is through events like this, when we bring the community together and provide them with information and resources.”

More than 25 organizations attended the community event. Trauma support services, career opportunities, youth services and file erasing booths were made available.

People in the community are getting creative to tackle the ongoing crime. A local rap artist thinks music might be the answer.

“Kids are so influenced by what’s happening on social media, so influenced by the media. Hip-hop is the youngest but most influential culture in the world. I want to use that to communicate with the youth,” said Arsin Clemons.

A month ago, Clemons launched the #PrayforPhillyChallenge social media campaign. The goal is to inspire youth and address gun violence and addiction by sharing positive messages through music, art and lyrics.

It is a unique competition that is already spreading online.

“Right now we have about 60 people who have sung along, joined in art and poetry to communicate, we’re starting a conversation that’s actually making a difference,” Clemons said.

Clemons invites all artists, singers, rappers, activists, poets, etc. to join the challenge and share their message using the hashtag #PrayforPhillyChallenge.

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