WASHINGTON — A group planning to remember an 11-year-old boy on the anniversary of his murder is now planning to also honor the life of another 11-year-old who was killed in D.C. on July 4.
Karon Brown Day was planned months ago, now organizers are hoping to call attention to Davon McNeal’s death and other young children who have been killed in the District.
The event planned for July 18 at Oxon Run Park hopes to give community members a space to heal from the tragic loses and call for an end to children being shot and killed.
Makiyah Wilson, Maurice Scott, Karon Brown, and now, Davon McNeal, are just some of the young people who have been murdered in the District over the past few years.
There have been a countless number of vigils, marches, and rallies calling for justice and for the deadly violence against children to stop.
"There are no answers for this reality," Marshall Pollard said.
Pollard, who is best known as Mr. P, is the executive director of a nonprofit called The Creative School.
The Creative School’s mission is to equip Kings and Queens, as the organization refers to its students, to design intergenerational connections.
Pollard knew Karon Brown, and said learning of Davon McNeal’s death was difficult.
"There was a personal trigger for me, just to keep it real with you, of reminding myself what it was like to experience that death; that funeral, and the life lost that the community is still reeling from," he said. "But it makes me think, right now: How do we show up, man?"
That is the reason Pollard is helping organize Karon Brown Day.
The event is more than just a vigil to remember those kids killed in D.C., but a day to heal and create ideas on how to change the future.
There will be healing circles, yoga, chess, and children will be passing out a juices they created in exchange for stories from young people.
The stories that will be collected are meant to help generate ideas on how to heal the community and what services need to be created to move the culture forward.
"It's one moment in the midst of a pandemic where we can bring our network together to say: One, we’re going to heal together and; Two: We’re going to invite youth to in exchange for a bottle of juice to tell us a story about what the young people in this group could create, so we don’t have to come together and mourn the loss of our young people," Pollard told WUSA9.
He added that while it is important to hold the community accountable for violence, it is equally important to understand the systemic issues that influence the behaviors.
"Stress produces a condition that leads community members to shoot each other, right? And it doesn't mean we don't hold each other accountable and do that work," Pollard explained. "But we need to be able to make sure that our young people are being given the tools, the mindsets, the skills, the experiences, like on the 18th, to say 'Hey, neighborhood. I am designing solutions and what I really need is for you to show up and follow me.'"
Karon Brown Day will be held on Saturday, July 18 at 2 p.m. at Oxon Run Park.