After a string of violent crimes in Akron and across the nation, community leaders are taking action by encouraging residents to use their voting rights.
Pastor Gregory B. Harrison at Antioch Baptist Church in Akron said in order to make a change, the community needs to send a message to elected officials.
"We as a community must take responsibility and initiate direct positive actions and become proactive in finding solutions," said Harrison .
He hopes to register 10,000 new voters in order to create a voice for the problems facing young people today including racial profiling and senseless murders.
Racial profiling has been a hot topic among many after an incident in February involving the slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Harrison, a former police officer for 14 years, said he knows first hand that racial profiling is a problem.
"That is not something that I can be told doesn't exist because I engaged in the practice."
He hopes by registering more voters, he can get the community involved in electing officials who support programs and resources that work to end violence and racial profiling.
"Elected officials alone cannot stop the systematic racial profiling of our black males, but they can introduce, sponsor and pass legislation that requires better training of any group or organization empowered to protect our communities," said Harrison.
Harrison has set a goal of registering 10,000 new voters with the help of local community organizations and leaders.
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