Reverend Glenn Grayson Sr., pastor of Wesley Center AME Zion in the Hill District, is leading efforts to remember those lost to gun violence in the Pittsburgh area on a national level.
From Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday Sept. 26, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Center That C.A.R.E.S., 2701 Centre Ave. (same location as the church), anyone who has lost a family member to gun violence can contribute a “remembrance object” in their memory, which will be placed inside a small box and sent to the growing National Gun Violence Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Reverend Grayson’s son, Jeron, 18, was killed by gun violence while at a party near California University of Pennsylvania in 2010. He was a former star athlete at Schenley High School and a student at Hampton University at the time of the shooting.
Goldette Shields, a member of Wesley Center AME Zion church who is also assisting with the promotion of the event, lost a nephew, Frederick Shields, to gun violence three years ago.
“Guns are supposed to be for self-defense, and now people are just trigger-happy and they’re destroying our communities,” Shields told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “There’s nobody playing in the playground anymore because they’re scared they’re going to be shot by a drive-by, or because ‘we won a game,’ or ‘you stepped on my foot.’ The violence is killing our youth. Our youth really think it’s cool to go around and shoot somebody because they’re angry at them or they’re mad, or they had a bad day.”
Whether it’s the pandemic or otherwise, Pittsburgh is dealing with an increase in homicides in 2021, along with many parts of the country. Shields said that it’s important for people to remember their loved ones by bringing an object that will be permanently placed at the new memorial in D.C.
REV. GLENN GRAYSON SR., pastor of Wesley Center AME Zion in
the Hill District.