The event features free camel rides food, drinks and family-friendly entertainment

 The Anti-Violence Safe Summer Block Party Series kicks off its second year on Friday, July 14, 2017 at Hickory Ridge Middle School, 3920 Ridgeway Rd., from 5 – 7 p.m. The event, free and open to public, will feature a petting zoo with exotic animals, food and drinks, music, games, motivational speakers and informative sessions lead by community organizations. The exotic animals are new this year and will include kangaroos, tortoises and free camel rides.

The successful series saw more than 3,000 people come together last year in support of neighborhood peace and anti-violence. Block parties will also be held at: Cordova High School, Trezevant High School, John P. Freeman Optional School, Craigmont High School and Tiger Lane.

“Last year was an overwhelming success,” said Artemis “Peppa” Williams, the series organizer. “The need for peace in these communities continues to be vital. These families need a place where they can be safe and come together as a community, and I am happy to provide it for them.”

The series is sponsored by organizations and individuals throughout the city including: Shelby County Commissioners, Memphis Police Department C.O.P. (Community Outreach Program), City of Memphis – Youth Services, Shelby County Schools, Well Child, Allworld Project Management, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, Workforce Investment Network, Horne & Wells, PLLC, Families Matters, Kroger, 88.5 FM, Penny Hardaway and Team Penny and iheartradio.

In 2015, Williams produced an anti-violence rally in Whitehaven during fall break. The event attracted more than 2,500 students who participated in and came to promote the community message of nonviolence, and the event had zero incidents and spread the word that local communities are banding together to show they will not tolerate violence and crime.