Symbols of peace will soon go up in an Eastside Savannah neighborhood, amid a recent spike in area homicides.
The Savannah Peace Initiative is a local version of an international effort to place “peace poles” in communities where violence has erupted.
The first pole is in dedication to Lawrence Bryan IV. The 23-year-old was murdered in 2015, Savannah’s worst year for homicides since the early '90s.
Monday, children from the neighborhood Bryan was killed in began decorating the first pole and a mural with representations of peace.
Residents in the area have been vocal about crime problems in the neighborhood.
Many of the children know multiple people who died from gun violence last year.
The students belong to a group called Performance Initiatives, an after-school program based in Savannah’s Eastside.
Their group joined with the Savannah Peace Initiative, startup foundation LB4 and After, and art program Loop It Up Savannah to make the peace pole project a reality.
Their depictions represent loved ones lost to gun violence and other causes.