New billboard campaign works to end violence in Charlotte

Updated: Mar. 25, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - You may have seen new billboards around Charlotte telling you that the violence needs to end in Charlotte.

It’s a new effort by the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte organization.

They say the conversation must continue if we want the violence to stop and everyone needs to help find a solution. And the organization says a similar billboard campaign they did in the 90s worked in preventing violence.

In total there are now 30 billboards in the Charlotte area. Their purpose? To continue the conversation on ending violence in Charlotte.

“Many more of these homicides are being initiated because of one conversation, one argument and they’re being escalated. And suddenly they’re being escalated and they’re ending up on the news,” said Johnathan Hill with the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte.

In 1993, the organization put up similar billboards to stop the violence and start a city-wide conversations when the homicides in the 90′s reached record breaking numbers.

“It was a billboard campaign at that point in time, it got everyone talking on the same perspective. It started initiating ideas and think tanks,” said Hill.

In 1993, there were 122 people killed.

In 2020, 123 people were killed.

For this campaign, the 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte are taking it further, organizing their own panels and partnering with businesses and community members to help find solutions.

“At some point someone’s got to do something and we are perfectly fine being the leaders to galvanize the community in that way,” said Hill.

Their first panel discussion is on April 1. The organization is looking now for community partners with a common goal to end the violence in Charlotte.

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