FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- According to Fort Wayne UNITED, homicide is the leading cause of death in black males from ages 18 to 24 in the Summit City. But Mayor Henry and Fort Wayne UNITED aim to change that statistic. Just search social media, and you'll find the hashtag 'CouldaBeenMe'.
"This hashtag represents those close calls in life. Where it's that accident you avoided by going a different route or that shooting you avoided by picking up a shift,"said Anthony Moore, an Emerging Leaders of Fort Wayne UNITED Member.
Moore helped create it and wants the community to become involved and share their stories .
"I actually did avoid a shooting by picking up a shift and unfortunately my friend did not, but that's the strength behind the hashtag, so tweet it, Facebook it, Instagram it. It started here in Fort Wayne and we can make it a universal thing if we push it."
Deshaun Harris says he was also almost a victim of violence in Fort Wayne.
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, where it could've easily been me. I could've been another hashtag. You know, rip this, rip that. I could've been on a shirt."
It's now Black History Month, but Moore says bringing awareness to this issues isn't just going to be talked about in February, it'll be a constant discussion.
"As a black man in America, I try to do research throughout the year .So black history month is like a call-out to our achievements, but I like to learn about my people all throughout the year and I encourage other black families to do the same thing," said Moore.
Harris hopes that the hashtag will show people that positive steps are being made to reduce the number of homicides that affect many families.
"We need the whole community to get involved with health care, housing, employment and education. All of it can have an effect on young black males."
So what can the community do to help?
"Just getting involved in other communities than your own and affecting other people so that it could've been them but it wasn't because you may have affected them in a way that they wouldn't have been affected before, " said Moore.
Harris says he loves seeing the support from local leaders and law enforcement.
"In my lifetime I haven't seen people in power come down to a lower level to deal with such a problem as black on black homicides, or homicides of black men, so I think it's an amazing thing that they're doing."