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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Stop, Think and Breath rally saw hundreds come to enjoy food, live music, and speeches.

The rally was born out of one woman’s desire to ensure that her children and the children of Kansas City avoid the pain that she has endured.

“That honest hope, they don’t really know anything out here. It gives me the strength to push forward.” Tonalisha Sullivan, organizer of the rally, said.

Sullivan knows on the deepest level the effects of violent crime. 

“I have a five-year-old son named Malachi Sullivan. His dad was killed when he was five months old,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan wasn’t alone. Sunnie Carney’s father was Kansas City’s 9th homicide in 2012. She said enduring that level of grief is traumatizing.

“It was really, really difficult because when you go through these things it’s trauma,” Carney said. “It’s the idea of feeling like you’re alone. That you don’t have anybody.“

Tonalisha hopes that these events also break the stigma surrounding mental health. 

“It’s okay to speak to a therapist. It’s okay to go and talk to somebody,” Sullivan said.