HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — On Saturday night, leaders came together in Hampton from all over Hampton Roads for ‘Guns Down, Mics Up’ – an event meant to stop the cycle of gun violence seen in juveniles.

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Within this week – more than a dozen people were shot across Hampton Roads and beyond. It’s exactly what ‘Give back 2 Da Block’ leader Darrell Redmond is looking to stop.

“We say put the guns down but if we put the guns down – what we can put in your hand?” asked Redmond. “So, we came up with ‘Put the guns down, pick the mic up’ so I can get them to understand that using their voice is more powerful than using a gun. So we taking the power out of a gun and putting the power where actually belongs – and its what you think and how you speak.”

He tells 10 On Your Side that he spent nearly twenty years incarcerated himself. Now, Redmonds is looking to level with kids on the reality of gun violence.

“The kids are shooting out of anger. That’s they expression. But if kids utilize their voice and realize that’s more powerful than a bullet? They’ll know words have more power than that gun does,” said Redmond.

People – young and old – from all over Hampton Roads took the stage and expressed their emotions around gun violence.

Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck and several members of the City Council were also there to meet with the community.

“In a neighborhood, you’ll find one day, yellow tape around an area. The next day, you’ve got children playing in the same area where the yellow tape was,” recalled Mayor Tuck about a conversation he had with a local.

It’s the kind of desensitization he’s hearing about more often Redmond agrees.

He hopes that by keeping the microphones on, his mission on track, and the community united – they can keep those kids from becoming a victim themselves. “We gotta stand together as a unit. It’s one team, one mission man. That’s safer cities, safer environments for everybody to go to school, get home peacefully. Go to work, get home peacefully and everybody can live together in unity.”

Contact Give Back 2 Da Block by emailing: giveback2dablockva@gmail.com