LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a tweet Sunday morning, Devine Carama, the director of One Lexington, asked Black men in Lexington to help with a public service announcement.
"I'm challenging 100 BLACK MEN to show up in unity against gun violence for a video PSA!" the tweet read.
Carama told LEX 18 that the PSA was a part of the mission of One Lexington, an anti-violence program that, according to the city government, works to coordinate, leverage, and mobilize city government and community resources to enhance safety and quality of life in neighborhoods experiencing violent crime.
"There's not too many spaces where [kids] can see Black men coming together in a positive way even though we've got a lot of positive Black brothers in the community," Carama told LEX 18 Sunday.
Dozens of people--Carama estimated close to 100--heeded his call and showed up outside the Lyric Theatre Sunday afternoon.
"To see so many brothers coming out lets me know the sense of urgency that the community has," Carama said.
Speaking before the crowd, Carama cited statistics that showed the disproportionately high rates of Black men entangled in gun violence, on both sides of the trigger.
"I just wanted to cultivate a space where they could come together so we could create that imagery and let these kids know that you can be in groups with your brothers and people that look like you," Carama told LEX 18. "It can be something that's real positive."
With dozens of young and older men behind him, Carama directed the group to chant a phrase that reflects his message.
"It takes a village!" they shouted.