101 Black Men for Highland march and hold block party to curb violence

“We want to have a better living environment and better opportunities for the community,” an organizer said.
A group of community activists marched together to end violence in their Gaston County neighborhood.
Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 11:03 PM EDT
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GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - Safety in the Highland community in Gastonia.

In June, WBTV talked to George Fulwood, one of the founders of the group 101 Black Men for Highland.

“We’re trying to get 101 black men together to hit these streets, go knock on these gang members’ doors, try to get the community back to make it feel like it’s a safe place for everyone in the Highland community,” Fulwood said.

On Sunday, the group lead a march and block party to share their message, marching to make their community a safer place.

“We are here for the Highland community. 101 black men are here for the community,” Finland Fair, one of the founders of the group and organizers of today’s event, said.

Fair joined others, walking through neighborhoods impacted by violence in the Highland area.

“We want to grow the community educationally,” Fair said. “We want to have a better living environment and better opportunities for the community.”

Part of the motivation includes creating alternatives for young people and giving them a safe place to spend their time.

“We’re gonna try to put some programs together so that we can get these kids of the streets,” he said.

They say the violence in Gastonia as a whole has an impact on everyone.

Just this past Friday, police say a 9-year-old was shot in the face and is in the hospital with serious injuries.

“Yeah, that’s devastating and we have other parents that have been through the same thing so maybe we can get them together to try to help them cope with the situation,” Fair said.

People of all ages stood behind today’s mission, taking action to get ahead of crime.

“101 black men will be there for the community ‘cuz we’re trying to strengthen our community from the bottom up,” Fair said.

It doesn’t stop with today’s event.

Fair says the group is trying to get more resources for the community and training so they can be in schools to mentor students.

Related: Local organization hoping to connect with youth, change Gastonia neighborhood