A local woman has planned a "Stop the Violence" Rally that is set for this Saturday at Freeman Park in response to the spike in shootings that have taken place around Tuscaloosa in recent weeks.

Deborah Minor, a local event planner, decided to take action to promote peace throughout the city of Tuscaloosa.

"The violence that's been happening in Tuscaloosa was a bit much. It was overwhelming," Minor said.

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Minor gathered over 50 community volunteers and used her experience as an event planner to lay the foundations for the event six weeks ago.

Minor said the event will kick off with a prayer vigil and hopes the messages throughout the day will make an impact on the youth and adults in the community to take action to prevent violence in their neighborhoods.

"Over 20 hard-hitting speakers will give raw truth to what is happening in the community," Minor said. "I am trying to paint a picture to show the community that we must come together to stop the violence before it gets totally out of control."

The event will include activities for younger children, food trucks and community organizations present to provide necessary information on issues concerning mental health, drug and child abuse prevention and other ways to address issues, combat violence and restore the community.

Minor said while she expects the event to have a large turnout with elements of fun, she wants the community to know the event should be taken seriously.

"This is not a rally to entertain you, but a rally to give people information and knowledge they need to curb violence," Minor said.

Minor said she hopes the event will make an impact on city officials who will make decisions that will better impact neighborhoods facing increased violence.

"It's great that most criminals have been picked up in one to two days following crimes but we need preventative measures," Minor said. "We need the police substations to be reopened outside of Hay Court Apartments and Forrester Gardens."

"You can stop the violence in your neighborhoods. Peace should be available to every neighborhood," Minor said.

The event will take place from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. It is free and open to everyone.

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