Community leaders start 'Stop the Violence' campaign in Madison

Published: Friday, April 29, 2016 -- 6:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. -- After a recent uptick in violence in Madison, community leaders are speaking out and calling for action in a campaign called "Stop the Violence."

The Black Leadership Council of Greater Madison along with the City of Madison released the video campaign.

One of those leaders involved with the project is Minister Caliph Muab'El He is the Executive Director of Breaking Barriers Mentoring, Inc. and co-founder of a community record label, Forever We Shine Records.

"Where we're trying to change the face of hip hop in Madison. We're trying to show kids that there's the hip hop that they know but there's a hip hop out there that's more inspirational, that's more uplifting," Mister Muab'El says.

The name of his mentoring group, Breaking Barriers, was inspired by his own experiences.

"we believe that we can break those barriers because I broke those barriers first with myself," Mister Muab'El says.

At the age of 15, Mister Muab'El was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

"Me coming from where I come from I understand things in a more intimate sense. I can understand where they're coming from," Mister Muab'El says.

Since his release, he's been taking his past and working with kids in the community to help them have a better future. He says to do this, community leaders need to be involved with the youth and let them have a voice.

"We don't want to just talk at them we want to have an interaction and that's important," Mister Muab'El says.

Community leaders who started the "Stop the Violence" campaign hope the video will spark conversations in the community and let people know that violence is never the answer.