Students from Youngstown spent the day Thursday in Columbus with Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Members of the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past were on hand for the governor to sign a bill establishing the first week in October as Non-Violence Week.
Students from the Youngstown City Schools started the Non-Violence Week locally in 2010. They then asked State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, to make it a statewide event.
In May, students Janae Ward and Gregory Jones testified before lawmakers about the non-violence declaration and on Thursday, 13 of them traveled back to the state house.
“It’s important to expand it because we want everyone on the same level. It’s not just for here,” said Janae Ward with Sojourn to the Past. “We want the whole state, the whole country eventually to realize we need to have non-violence week and how important it is to remind our peers, and even the adults, to teach the younger kids non-violence is the way to go or we’ll no longer exist.”
Jones said violence isn’t just physical. He said it is how people think and process information on a day-to-day basis in every aspect of life.
“It’ s the way we think, they way we feel, the way we treat one another,” said Jones. “In the workplace, friendships, family members and in the classroom it is very important to change our minds and cognitively understand what non-violence truly is.”
Non-Violence week will kick off with a parade in Youngstown on Oct. 6.