12th annual Block Party for Peace continues throughout weekend

FRAYSER, TN (WMC) - The Frayser community is using fall festivities to educate residents about some serious issues.

However, the Block Party for Peace is more than just a party.

Hundreds of people flocked to Frayser to party in peace at an event aimed at education and empowerment.

"We are 12 years in the game," said Tennessee state representative Antonio Parkinson. "We are excited it's been a good turnout actually."

"I'm glad everyone is getting along," said resident Alan Garmon. "We don't have any violence going on and we have peace and stuff. It's really going OK."

Parkinson said people are taking advantage of the free health screenings.

"This year our focus is fathers and fatherhood," Parkinson said. "How can we change that narrative? How can we get people to understand the importance of that? How can we get people to understand the rippling effect of the fathers not being in the homes?"

The festivities also included a beauty corner that gave free makeovers. There was also a salon for hair, makeup, and nails, and another salon provided haircuts for boys.

"I just got off work and my son was telling me yesterday that he wants to come to the park, so this is a fabulous place for me to take him so he can enjoy the community," said resident Michael Vaughn.

Parkinson said they're also focused on improving residents' quality of life.

"We feel like if quality of life is improved, people will be more comfortable and less likely to be committing crimes," Parkinson said. "So, we want to go to those core, root issues."

Vaughn said there is a lot of violence where he lives.

"A lot of my brothers and sisters become victims of violence," Vaughn said. "We have to learn to unite with one another and learn to stick with one another because right now that's what's wrong in the community."

The block party continues into Sunday at Ed Rice Community Center. For a schedule of events, click here.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.