"Peace" tournament held in NOLA - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

'Peace Tournament' shuns gun violence, encourages positive relationships

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite has called on the community to step up to help combat crime. On Thursday afternoon, he addressed dozens of young men taking part in the first New Orleans Peace Tournament sponsored by the New Orleans Interfaith Peace Initiative.

The tournament involved young men ages 18-25.

The tournament was modeled after the 'Peace Games' in Chicago where gun violence is at epidemic proportions.

The event was designed to help the young men develop positive relationships. Polite told them he did not grow up with wealth, but that he had an appetite for success.

"New Orleans is my hometown. Like many of you and your family members, I was born at Charity Hospital to a 16-year-old mother who was living in the Calliope Project at the time, and I grew up in the Lower 99th Ward. And from those humble beginnings I went on to Harvard University and Georgetown Law School, prestigious law firms in New York and New Orleans," Polite told the young men.

In a city where far too many African American males are dying on the street, the faith community has long been enlisted to work to inspire young men to shun violence. 

To drive home the point that violence is not the way, the event was held at the historic New Zion Baptist Church in Central City where Civil Rights Leaders Dr. Martin Luther King attended meetings during the height of the civil rights movement.

Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons also played an active role at the event along well as former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial.

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