LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — June is National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and National Gun Violence Awareness Day is Friday, June 2.
Community groups across the Piedmont Triad are gathering to host events, and one is underway right now at Barber Park in Greensboro.
A Davidson County woman who lost her brother to a shooting now has a nonprofit in his honor and plans to hold an event to raise awareness about gun violence prevention.
“He has such a big personality. He was homecoming king. He was the football star. The basketball star. He ran track … was a graduate of Lexington Senior High class of 2001,” said Dia Nyarko, Johnny Leroy Dawkins Junior Scholarship Fund executive director.
Nyarko lost her older brother Johnny in 2008.
“Lee-Lee,” as friends and family called him, was 25 years old.
“We were thick as thieves. I literally felt like I lost a limb because he was my right arm,” Nyarko said.
Johnny had a son and daughter: Jayden and Leeleean.
Two years after his death, his family launched the Johnny Leroy Dawkins Jr. Scholarship Fund for minority high school boys.
Since 2010, it has grown into a nonprofit and is now JLD Community Solutions.
“God gave us a platform. And if we can’t do anything else, the very least I can do is use the platform that he’s given us so we can stand up and say, ‘let’s do something different.'”Nyarko said.
JLD Community Solutions is hosting its inaugural Community Against Gun Violence Block Party on Saturday, June 3, at the Breeden Insurance Amphitheater.
They’re hosting live performances, food trucks, vendors and several speakers as they rally against gun violence.
“He was a very lively person. So we want this event to embody him,” Nyarko said. “Even though it is a subject that is definitely worth the conversation, and we want to be educational, and we want people to leave inspired to be a part of this change.”
Johnny’s sister hopes you will help make something so close to their heart a success.
“Let’s make a change. What we know is that one life is too many and none of us are exempt. … we don’t want to be reactive. We want to be proactive, and we want to say we recognize what’s going on around us,” Nyarko said.
JLD Community Solutions will also be holding a walk to raise awareness of gun violence prevention before the block party starts at 10 a.m.
If you want to walk the meeting spot is Holt Moffitt Field in Lexington.
The walk starts at 9:30 a.m., and you are encouraged to wear orange, which symbolizes the gun violence prevention movement.