Walk, Talk, and Pray brings together coalition calling for peace

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Organizers from across Rochester went door-to-door Thursday as part of a Walk, Talk, and Pray initiative to reach out to families impacted by gun violence.

Wanda Ridgeway with Rise Up Rochester said that she is committed to spreading her organization’s message that it doesn’t have to end this way — the way it did for her loved ones.

“My boyfriend was murdered in my arms and I lost my nephew Hershall Scrivens and I lost a lot of friends,” Ridgeway said.

These are reasons why she spent Thursday evening walking the block along Lyell and North Plymouth avenues to spread the message of peace, one door handle at a time. Roc the Peace also joined in.

“Hurt people hurt people. I was doing more hurt to myself than anything. So that support group gave me the tools to use to start moving forward,” Ridgeway said.

So far this year, there have been 41 homicides in Rochester. There were 74 last year.

Those numbers are unacceptable to lifelong residents like Danielle La Fave.

“I didn’t really know what they were doing and took a quick glance and it kind of tugged at my heart strings. it makes me happy that there are people out here in the community doing this but also sad that it has to be done,” La Fave said.

A realtor in downtown Rochester for many years, La Fave said she won’t give up on her hometown.

“I’m here, on an evening, out showing houses — I will never give up on this city,” La Fave said.

That’s music to the ears of people like Dr. Candice Lucas.

“We have to have peace and sometimes this is what it takes, getting to know people. Getting to know you. Building that trust and building our villages back,” Dr. Lucas said.

A National Day of Remembrance for murder victims will be Sept. 25.