YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio Nonviolence Week returns to the Valley for the 13th time, bringing back its annual parade and rally. The tradition was born in Youngstown and has made its way across the state of Ohio.

Nonviolence Week was started by a local organization in the Valley by a small group of high school students. Eventually, a state senate bill was passed marking every first week of October as nonviolence week.


The parade marched down Wick Avenue to the Youngstown Amphitheatre, ending with a rally that included Youngstown’s mayor and police chief.

Awards were be given for the best float, best banner and best in show for highlighting the themes of “peace” and “nonviolence.”

Chairperson Penny Wells said she’s proud to watch the event grow from the ideas of a few kids to a massive, week-long event.

“I believe that nonviolence starts with our thoughts, and so we hope that spend at least a week focusing on the the nonviolence principles,” Wells said.

The Five-Day Nonviolence Reading Challenge begins, and signups can be found here.


  • Mingle With Minni event from 5-9 p.m. Have dinner and meet Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine. Tickets are available for purchase here.


  • Simeon Booker Award for Courage — speakers will be Lisa McNair and Sarah Collins Rudolph. Reception with ticket purchase at the Tyler History Center at 5:30 p.m. Following the reception, the award ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.


  • Spoken Word “Speak Your Peace” at the Hopewell Theatre from 6-8 p.m. Event is free and open to the public


  • Reception for art and poetry contest winners at the Youngstown Public Library from 5-7 p.m. Event is free and open to the public.


  • Panel discussion based on the reading challenge at the YWCA beginning at noon.

The following week, “Chalk Over Hate” will take place at the Jewish Community Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  A special art session titled “The Art of Emotion” for ages 6-13. The program is free but reservations are required — contact Nic Bush at 330.746.3251 ext. 114 or for reservations.

For addresses of participating venues and further information, visit Youngstown Live’s website.