Hundreds gather to take a stand against violence

Hundreds gather to take a stand against violence

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On Saturday, violence took a back seat to a unified voice as hundreds gathered in Gulfport to show their solidarity for peace at 'March for Our Youth.'

Bruce Michael Williams came from Louisiana to make a difference.

"I feel like it's time to stand up and stand out, and say look it's time for a change," said Williams. "I mean, we're all doing this in the name of Jesus. Coming out here trying to reach the youth, and get them to see that there is hope out here."

And for many, like Javion Shotwell, the feeling was mutual.

"It means a lot because a lot of people around here are dying, and it's irrelevant reasons why they are dying," said Shotwell.

It's been one year since Bishop Jackson buried his nephew Ray Howze, who was murdered in Gaston Point.

"We're supposed to be loving one another. It's a shame when a child don't finish his course in life," said Jackson.

Before the march, participants lined up along the street in solidarity as the car carrying the body of Carlos Bates drove by. Bates was murdered along with Isaiah Major III February 7 after the Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade.

"This is just a small step forward of trying to do something positive and let the community know that we do care and we do want the violence to stop," said Alton Smith.

The response has given organizer Emily Holloway hope.

"It's a great feeling to have all these people come out. Just to know that there are other people like me that care as well; that want to make a change," Holloway noted.

The sponsor of the march was BlueEnvy Nightclub in Gulfport.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.