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Fulton County leaders announce 'Summer of Peace' anti-violence rally coming this May

Fulton County leaders said celebrities, law enforcement, and over 500 teens are expected to attend the event this May.

ATLANTA — Fulton County leaders are announcing a new anti-violence summer kickoff rally that's expected to host celebrities, law enforcement, and hundreds of teens this May. 

Community officials are holding a 10 a.m. press conference at the South-View Cemetery on Thursday to promote the first Summer of Peace Anti-Gun Violence Conference and Rally, which is being held in two weeks. 

At the press conference, local elected officials, law enforcement, and prominent community figures are calling for "100 days of peace for teens and youth in advance of the anticipated spike in violence that precedes the start of summer break for high school students." 

"While much attention has been focused nationally on the pandemic since 2020, communities across the country have had to endure a substantial increase in gun violence and death among teens," organizers said.

Organizers said the event is part of their answer to a call to reduce a surge in gun violence, citing President Joe Biden's reference to America's gun violence issue as a "public health epidemic" and “national embarrassment."

Fulton County officials said the Summer of Peace Anti-Gun Violence Conference will be a joint event of the Fulton County Probate Court, the Fulton County Solicitor's Office, and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.

Over 500 teens from Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County Schools are expected to attend a day full of "of anti-violence programming using music, local entertainers, and influencers" on May 5 on Clark Atlanta University's campus ahead of the summer, organizers said.

A spokesperson for the Fulton County Probate Court said celebrities will be making appearances at the event and performing musical acts. 

According to a statement from organizers, they plan to make the summer kickoff anti-violence rally an annual event.

"It is important for those in the justice system to speak directly to teens disproportionately affected by gun violence when school ends for the summer," Judge Kenya Johnson said in a statement. "Together, we are calling for an end to all street conflicts and gun violence so that we can all get back to enjoying outside this summer."

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