In August 2023, eight-year-old Shawntaze Cameron Moore was fatally shot after he and other children got ahold of an unsecured gun at his mom’s house on Detroit’s west side. In 2016, 15-year-old Jada Rankin was killed by gun violence in Detroit. Each year, families of victims like Shawntaze and Jada, along with supporters, come together to honor loved ones lost to gun violence at the Silence the Violence march and rally. 

The 17th annual event took place on June 15 at the Church of the Messiah. Hundreds of people attended the event, which recognizes the innocent victims of gun violence and advances efforts to eradicate gun violence. Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, Detroit Police Chief James White, and Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield were also in attendance, offering their thoughts on reducing gun violence in the community. 


The event began in 2008 in the church’s Islandview neighborhood with little more than 50 people in attendance. Within a few years, the march and rally became a citywide event, and in 2022 it was recognized statewide.

American Black Journal contributor Daijah Moss joined attendees at the march and rally to talk with family members who showed up in remembrance of loved ones who lost their lives to gun violence. The event’s founder, Church of the Messiah Pastor Barry Randolph, talked about the event’s growth over the years and its influence on similar marches being held in cities across Michigan. 

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