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San Bernardino woman holds peace rally after personal losses

January 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
With violence on the rise in her community a young woman is taking matters into her own hands, vowing to campaign for peace.

A personal loss turned a San Bernardino resident into a rally organizer and advocate for non-violence. Symone Rosemond said she is tired of the violence that seems to have taken hold of her community.

"It hurts my heart because it is happening for reasons that are beyond me and I'm tired of it, I'm fed up," said Rosemond.

The 21-year-old said the very last straw came after she learned that her former classmate, Army specialist Christopher Sullivan was shot and paralyzed while at his own welcome home party.

A few days later another classmate, Kieth Hall, was shot and killed.

So Rosemond and two of her friends decided to organize a peace rally aimed at stopping the violence.

"This is not something that is going to change our community overnight, look where it has gotten" said Rosemond. "It's not going to happen in one day, but if we come together as a community, we stop it one step at a time."

On Jan. 21 at Perris Hill Park, Rosemond plans to take a stand with the Stop the Violence rally. They're hoping to fill the entire park with 5,000 participants in the hopes of taking back their streets.

"I need 5,000 people here, and that's what I'm going for and I'll shoot for nothing less," said Rosemond.

Victims of violence and their families have already signed on to be a part of the activities. The rally has also got the support of San Bernardino's newly hired police chief.

"It makes me proud that people in the community care enough to get involved and put a stop to the violence. We can't do it alone," said Chief Robert Handy.

Rosemond knows her efforts will take time, but she isn't willing to standby anymore.

"If one person turns in their weapon then my job was done," said Rosemond.