COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Summer is just around the corner, does that mean violence is also on the way?
A non-profit organization called “A Thug Is A Dud (A.T.I.A.D.)” is working to keep at-risk youth on the right path. On Thursday, they held a non-violence community event in Linden.
“It’s not about dying at an early age,” said Thell Robinson, founder of A.T.I.A.D. “The parents are burying the kids, when the kids are supposed to be burying their parents.”
Robinson’s goal is to end violence in Columbus communities.
“The murder rate right now is way above normal,” he said. “Instead of turning up for Memorial Day Weekend, we’re trying to get them to turn down.”
This is just one event that his organization holds throughout the year in different neighborhoods.
“We just want to help the ones that want help. The ones that want to still thug it, that’s on them,” said Robinson. “But, the ones that really want help we’re here to help them.”
At the event, participants received job opportunities, social services or another chance at getting an education.
“I used to live that street life and I know what it took to get me out of it,” said Robinson. “I just want to do what’s right by these youth and help them because it is people that care about them and they need to know that,” he said.
They also held a vigil for all the young lives lost to violence. Jamal Sherman, 17, knows the pain that comes with that kind of loss all too well.
“I just wanted to support anything that was helpful towards the community,” said Sherman. “Some people don’t believe things unless they see it. I hope they get to see this.”
And, he has a message for his young peers.
“Try to help yourself get better because if you don’t allow no one else to help you and they don’t want to help you, you can help yourself,” he said. “Just stay out the streets, that’s all.”
A.T.I.A.D. has two more community events coming up this summer:
- July 15th, East Side Non-Violence Community Event at the YMCA
- August 25th, Aftermath Barbershop (E. Livingston Ave. & Oakwood Ave.)