NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — June is gun violence awareness month.
Stop the Violence 757 kicked off the month with its 4th Annual Bike Ride to End Gun Violence.
Monica Atkins created Stop the Violence 757 after her son Antonio Atkins was killed in 2014.
“God placed this in my lap, and I’ve been moving forward ever since,” Atkins on the eve of her 50th birthday.
This year, Stop the Violence 757 partnered with Hot 91 at Norfolk State University.
“We have to increase the peace here, not just in Norfolk and not just in the 757. But if we can spread the word throughout the black community, we can really stop the violence,” said DJ Scandalez.
“Change the narrative the Black man doesn’t have to be against each other. We can come together one bike ride at a time.”
Dj Bee with the Fresh Start Morning Show is well-known for his weekly bike rides starting as his record store Freshtopia.
“I’m a father and my heart goes out to anybody that has to go through losing a child. That is our future,” said DJ Bee. “People seeing us do something helps stop the violence.”
DJ Bee and Atkins led the seven-mile ride with about 45 to 50 riders and supporters.
“We all have violence in our communities, we see it on the news every day. Shootings happening all over,” said Portsmouth School Board Member Lakeesha “Klu” Atkinson. “We’ve got to continue to invest in the kids!”
Stop the Violence 757 hopes to partner with more groups to stand in solidarity and address gun violence.