NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Following recent gun violence across Hampton Roads, LaTonya Snow, otherwise known as the Auntie Advocate, is teaming up with other organizations for a special event.

It’s called ‘Bent Not Broken: Broken Crayons Still Color.’

Several groups are coming together to help kids create a vision for their life and their community.

Snow started speaking out against gun violence after her nephew Xzavier Hill was killed by state troopers along Interstate 64 in January 2021. The state troopers were cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury. Hill’s family continues to call for justice and systemic changes.

She now helps grieving families impacted by gun violence.

From 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday at the Huntersville Recreation Center, she will offer a free community event for kids to make vision boards.

“We’re making vision boards for 2023,” Snow said. “We’re making vision boards to sow into our spirits and to sow into our character.

“When we sow into our character, we can put our character into the community and hopefully it becomes a domino effect for a positive vision in Hampton Roads.”

Representatives from Sentara Health and Moms Demand Action will also be at the event.

On behalf of Moms Demand Action, Virginia Beach/Norfolk group, I want to share our pride and gratitude for LaTonya Snow’s efforts to bring together members of her community to have a conversation including concerns about gun safety and gun violence prevention at the Bent Not Broken event.

We all want to keep our loved ones safe and this event is an opportunity for us to share our message to advocates, supporters, friends and survivors where we know that secure storage of firearms, gun sense legislation and support and hard work of the people of the Norfolk community where gun violence’s effects occur every day will make change. They are truly the shareholders and changemakers.

We will table at the event with information about our organization, MomsDemandAction.org , our BeSmartforKids.org program of securing firearms and the Everytown Survivor Network.

Thank you, LaTonya, we are privileged to know you and are grateful for your tireless dedication to keeping the voices of those who were killed and injured by guns elevated. We can never forget and will keep working to end gun violence.

We look forward to Friday,

Pat Gadzinski,  Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

There will also be several performances from Starr Burus, a young artist, and Khayla Walker, a poet activist and Teens with a Purpose and Shark City Drumline member.

“We want people to know there is not just bad, there is so many good things happening,” said Calvin Simon, Pastor of New Creation Community Church and a board member of the Shark City Drumline. “We are here to make a difference in as many kids’ lives as we can.”

He calls events like this a blessing and hopes it will help kids stay out of trouble.

“We want people to know there’s more to it than just the streets, (there’s) so much more,” Simon said. “You can be a writer, you can be a doctor, you can be whatever you want to be. Don’t let the streets tell you what you’ve got to be. Allow other people to pour into you so that you see what you can be.”

Both Snow and Simon say more people need to step up and get involved.

“We need all of these types of people to reach out and grab out kids and teach them at a early age that life is not what we see on TV or we may even see in our community,” Simon said. “Life can be so much better.”

Want to go?

What: The ‘Bent Not Broken: Broken Crayons Still Color

When: 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday

Where: Huntersville Recreation Center, 830 Goff St., Norfolk

Cost: The event is free, but you must sign up at the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hampton-roads-bent-not-broken-broken-crayons-still-color-tickets-468702260077