Khamila, Khalil, Rahim Baines and Shaheed James discuss Peace in the Port and the fight they are facing for change in the community and a better generation to come.
Peace in the Port
We had a chance to sit down with the Baines family, who moved to Williamsport 15 years ago for new opportunities and to be able to get their dad the help and attention he needed.
Khamila, Kahlil, and Rahim Baines, along with Shaheed James, shared their stories about how the community helped them grow as children and their hopes for what their children will experience, as well. They say that they hope their can be more community involvement for them as they grow up.
“That’s why we started the Peace in the Port Movement,” Khalil says, “to try to get the younger people involved in different activities and to bring that spark back to Williamsport.”
Peace in the Port was started by Khalil and his family in order to bring peace back into the community, as well as highlight the positives that individuals are doing rather than the negative.
They wanted to create a platform for people who had lost loved ones because of shootings or drug overdoses, to be able to discuss their heartache as well as create change so that these things did not affect any other families, or help others cope who have been affected.
“We all stand for peace and we all want a difference,” Khalil says.
Peace in the Port has a Facebook page that the community can follow to hear about their events, such as First Saturday.
The day after First Friday, Peace in the Port has started First Saturday in which to bring organizations together that strive for the same mission they do and so others can then learn about that mission. They also had an event at Short Park in June where they held a basketball tournament, brought in food from places such as Qdoba, sold T-shirts, and set off lanterns to honor those lost in the past year due to violence and drugs.
They also have meetings every Wednesday evening at the James V. Brown Library to open up discussions on how they can spread their message and peace across the city.
The Baines family is using organizations like Peace in the Port to bring positivity back into the community, as well as give their children positive role models to follow.
“I want the next generation to realize their options,” Rahim says, “follow your goals and your dreams before you follow your friends.”
Even more than just themselves, Khamila spoke about her wish for there to be more African-American role models in the community to be mentors for the youth.
“If everyone would write down something that we could do for the city to make it better and we could come together and read that aloud and start conversations, we could make a change to the community,” Rahim concludes.
The Baines are an example of a family that took their situation from a young age, learned from it, and wanted to change the future for the next generation by spreading peace, warmth, love, and the belief in personal success beyond stereotypes and expectations.
“I’m just going to keep up the fight,” Shaheed says, “If we can do that, we can win.”