Pittsburgh youth speak out against recent violence in the city

PITTSBURGH — It’s been a very tough week of violence in Pittsburgh. The crime isn’t just hitting one neighborhood, it’s all over the city, leaving many of us feeling unsettled.

Now, several teenagers and youth in our community are driving that conversation forward.

“It’s affected me to the point where I just distance myself from others,” said Sanai Carey.

The 16-year-old recently lost her close friend, 15-year-old Dayvon Vickers. Vickers was shot and killed on Wednesday while riding his bike in Homewood.

Now, Carey is turning her pain into purpose.

On Saturday, the teen plans to hold a youth-led protest in honor of Vickers.

“Me and my friends and HYPE Media and some supporters from Westinghouse Academy 6-12 is protesting for Dayvon and others,” said Carey. “Stop the violence, stop the gun violence, stop all the violence!”

The youth-led protest will be held Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Frankstown and North Homewood Avenue.

On Friday afternoon in the Baldwin Whitehall School District, students started a  24-hour overnight vigil honoring the victims of identity-based violence.

“The people who these crimes have happened to deserve to be recognized. Not just the people who have committed them,” said 8th grader Sol Wiedor.

Each student took turns reading the names of those we lost, many of the victims from marginalized groups.

“We have covered other names like trans people, people of color, the list goes on, there are a lot of names,” said Wiedor.

“We are trying to do that little by little just by making awareness about what’s happening around North America,” said 9th grader Samantha Niggel.

The vigil at Baldwin High School will end at noon on Saturday.