A parade of about a thousand people, floats, cars, and trucks kicked off Ohio Nonviolence Week in Youngstown.
The peaceful walk and parade were started by students of Penny Wells' Sojourn to the Past more than a decade ago.
About one thousand people took part in a nonviolent parade Including the school band, ROTC Youngstown Students, churches, organizations, YSU students, The Youngstown Jewish Federation, Habitat for Humanity, WFMJ, and many others. 
Bonnie Deutsch Burdman Executive Director of Community Relations and Government Affairs drove Civil Rights Icon JoAnne Bland in the parade to where she was the featured speaker at Youngstown's Amphitheater.
JoAnne Bland is a civil rights activist who peacefully protested to expand voting rights and for voting rights for African Americans for decades. And she continues today. Bland was in Selma during Bloody Sunday and took part in the march across the Edmund Pettettus Bridge. That was the site of brutal beatings of civil rights marchers during the first march for voting rights. 
The teens in high school who are members of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past tell WFMJ News the walk shows people are united in one voice taking a stand for people to make a choice and not resort to violence. They believe a handshake is more powerful than violence and are asking everybody in the community to commit to peace through their actions.
"There's so much violence in our community and I feel like younger kids can make a better impact on the message we're trying to give out," Eric Hunter emphasized.
"I think we're trying to spread hope and a lot of awareness. I think this community has been riddled with a lot of violence and a lot of grief and I think us marching will show people there are other options," Rilee Stanley said.
Both are just two of the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the past members who took part in the parade.
Penny Wells Founder of Sojourn to the past says the Mahoning Valley needs to stand up and speak out against violence, intolerance, bigotry, and hate. She reminds us a high school student 
Janae Ward started this nonviolence parade and walk 12 years ago. Continued efforts led to the state passing a law making October 2nd through the 8th in Ohio Nonviolence week
"To me, it shows the amazing power of kids when they realize they can make a difference, that they have the power. I think many times people think I don't have the power whether I'm 12 years old, 15 years old, 20 years old and 80 years old, but we can make a difference if we are willing to step up and step out, and we can do it in a variety of ways," Penny Wells Founder and Director of Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the past said. 
The walk to the amphitheater ended with a rally, where Youngstown's Mayor, Police Chief, and School Superintendent were some of the guest speakers.
Special events are scheduled all week for 2022 Nonviolence Week Ohio. You can check out details at www.ohiononviolenceweek.org.
The Youngstown Area Jewish Federation handed out apple chips along the parade route with information about the float that entered the parade.
It explains Sukkot. During Sukkot Jewish families build a temporary hut or shelter in their yards. It represents huts that farmers lived in during the last hectic harvest period before the winter rains.   Families will decorate their huts with leaves, fruit, and vegetables, and put up their kids' artwork. It is traditional to eat meals in the sukkah. Some people even sleep in them during week-long celebrations. It is to remind them of the importance of home, the bounty of the earth, and the good deed of hospitality.  The pamphlet explains Sukkot is a little like Thanksgiving.