Operation Peace Treaty Inc., a new nonprofit created to address gun violence in Leflore County, will begin an eight-week program Saturday to collect input from residents on the subject.
Saturday’s event will begin at noon at the Robert Moore Recreational Building, 2315 Carrollton Ave.
Barbecue plates as well as surveys will be given out to 300 or 400 people, said Lavoris Weathers, president of Operation Peace Treaty.
Weathers said the point of visiting residents in their communities is to show love and care.
Saturday’s event is tailored for residents of the Williams Landing apartment complex, off Browning Road, and Brazil Homes, off Luther Drive, Weathers said.
Afterward, the following communities will be visited on successive Saturdays, and barbecue plates and surveys will be handed out:
• July 25: Bishop Apartments complex, on Clay Street.
• Aug. 1: The Gibbs and Palace streets neighborhood.
• Aug. 8: Broad Street neighborhood.
• Aug. 15: Snowden-Jones apartment complex, off Main Street.
• Aug. 22: Baptist Town.
• Aug. 29: Terrace Gardens apartments, off Aven Avenue.
Weathers said McLaurin Park may be the eighth location visited.
The survey asks residents questions such as what they fear in their communities and what can be done to deter violence, Weathers said.
The results of the survey will be passed on to elected leaders, including Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams, the Greenwood City Council and the Leflore County Board of Supervisors, in hopes that they will pass some type of resolution designed to curb gun violence, said Sandra Chase, vice president of Operation Peace Treaty.
“Whatever we can do to slow this problem down, we’re doing it,” she said. “We know it’s not going to happen overnight. We have to take steps.”
Weathers had submitted his anti-violence plan, also named Operation Peace Treaty, to McAdams earlier this month. The mayor invited him to attend a meeting at which community advocates discussed ways to stop the shootings, but he could not attend due to a schedule conflict with his work.
He said Thursday that he had not heard back from the mayor.
Last week, however, during a City Council meeting, McAdams brought up Weathers’ plan and provided copies for all the members of the council as well as the public to examine.
Weathers did say that District 2 Supervisor Reginald Moore, whose district includes the meeting place for Saturday’s event, will be present. He added that he hopes to hear back from other local elected leaders and hopes they will support his program.
A spike in shooting incidents last month, which killed three men and injured several other people, prompted Weathers to take a stand against gun violence.
Another group that has sprouted up in response to last month’s shootings has been visiting city parks the past three weeks. Members of that group, which includes community advocates such as Basil Muhammad and Marcellus Gray, have expressed their concern for the residents and discussed the need to implement teachings on conflict resolution from the 10,000 Fearless Program.
That group’s next meeting will take place 6 p.m. Friday in the Baptist Town community.
Because Weathers’ program is eight weeks, he said he expects the movement to address gun violence to continue its current momentum. Still, his nonprofit is currently self-funded and will need donations to continue its mission, he said.
Additionally, Weathers said he’d like to team with Muhammad’s and Gray’s group to pool resources. “We are going to have to come together as one and just show love,” Weathers said.
Donations to Operation Peace Treaty can be made at gofundme.com/f/4aak9-operation-peace-treaty.
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.