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CLEVELAND -- The International Urban Peace, Justice, and Empowerment Summit will be taking place at Cleveland State University May 30 through June 2.

Community activists and leaders from across the country are expected to attend and discuss the ongoing gang problems in urban areas.

Cleveland Police have not confirmed if any recent shootings are gang-related. However, neighbors in Parkwood, still stunned by the weekend shooting of a 12-year-old girl at a playground, say the source of street violence isn't just gangs, it's ignorance.

"The cliques... it's the cliques. Kids out here nowadays is not wearing colors, they're not waving flags around like when I grew up," explained Kris Johnson, a longtime Parkwood resident. "This is just shooting blindly."

Street violence is a problem that spans both the east and west sides of Cleveland, where a 17-year-old was shot and killed on West 116th and Lorain in broad daylight Tuesday near a library.

"It's just a random thing, somebody decides to be bad and they're bad for some reason, that's the way it's always been here," said 75-year-old Tom Terry, who has lived on the west side all his life. "No I don't really feel safe here, but you can die anywhere anytime."

According to the FBI, there are more than 80 different known gangs or cliques in Ohio and it is a problem they cannot solve alone.

"I think the community needs to step outside their doors and come up here together and talk about some of the things because the police can't do it by theirself," said Dawud Hakim, who grew up in Parkwood.

"Most of these kids out here just want somebody to care about them, in the smallest way possible too, so that's the amazing thing about it; and if they don't feel that then they're not going to care about your life," Hakim said.

Event Info:

A Call to Universal Oneness Campaign
In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the first national gang summit and the 25th Anniversary of Coalition for a Better Life

May 30 - June 2
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Cleveland State University
Main Classroom Auditorium
1860 East 22nd Street
Cleveland, Ohio

Mt. Sinai Baptist Church
7510 Woodland
Cleveland, Ohio

Luke Easter Park
3090 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Cleveland, Ohio

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