Milwaukee -- Put the guns down. That's the message the League of Young Voters got out Sunday in Milwaukee. The group is trying to empower residents and take back the streets.
"Yesterday, I probably heard three different times, three different shootings."
That's life on Milwaukee's north side for young mother Retona Wilson.
"Even if it's not somebody I know, I hope nobody got hurt," Wilson said.
Violence hit Milwaukee hard this summer.
"I'm tired of seeing another statistic," Wilson said.
It's become all too common for people on the north side.
"We are all products of our environment," event organizer Muhibb Dyer said.
An environment this group hopes to change. The 9th annual "Put the Guns Down" festival brought people together. They marched through the neighborhoods, enjoyed food, gave out school supplies, and provided a safe place for holiday weekend fun.
"If you grow up in an environment and all you see is shootings, all you see is brokenness, all you see is the worst part of life then you will accept that as your reality," Dyer said.
It's a reality Wilson doesn't want for her young son Jajuan.
"I want him to grow up. I want him to stay out of the streets. I want him to know that somebody loves him and doesn't want to lose him to the same violence that I see around me every day."
She brought him along so he can start to see the positives of the neighborhood. She also wants him to know he can be successful.
"I want him to grow up and be maybe a lawyer or a doctor. Not stuck in a jail cell for killing somebody or in a grave for somebody killing him."
"Oftentimes so many people destroy the communities," Dyer said. "So we trying, if just for a day, trying to build our community and show some love."