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Metro Detroiters urged to celebrate 2012 with hugs, not bullets

8th annual "Hugs, Not Bullets" campaign kicks off Thursday

Detroit – Community leaders are teaming up to urge Metro Detroiters to celebrate 2012 with hugs, not gunfire.

"Hugs, Not Bullets" is a culmination of efforts from Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Detroit Police Assistant Chief Chester Logan, youth leaders of Neighborhood Service Organization's Youth Initiatives Project and faith-based groups.  The 8th annual "Hugs, Not Bullets" campaign aims to reduce celebratory gunfire and year-round gun violence throughout Metro Detroit.

The campaign will last a year and focus on student-led activities.  Those activities will include workshops on gun violence, bullying, gang activity and celebratory gunfire.

A kickoff rally is set for Thursday at the Henderson Auditorium in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.  The rally starts at 10 a.m. on the 13th floor of the building.  More than 50 male youths from across Metro Detroit are expected to take part in the event.