A community cookout was held in Youngstown on Friday to raise awareness and honor the young lives lost to gun violence.

The event was put on by the Persayus Way project named after 10-year-old Persayus Davis May, who was killed in a 2021 homicide in Youngstown. She would have turned 13 years old Friday.

Persayus Way Project CEO Million Perry Phifer tells 21 News in light of the recent homicides in the city, as well as the recent explosion at Realty Tower in downtown Youngstown, it's important to spend time as a community.

"Due to all the negative stuff that we've been having going on, we just want to still put out that true color of Youngstown and let them know we're still here and we can still support one another," Phifer said.

Phifer went on to say the organization wants to keep doing events like this in the future to keep the strength of Youngstown going.