CIRV street advocate remembered as warrior against violence

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - A man who dedicated his time to reducing violence in Cincinnati as an active member of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) was remembered Monday at a memorial service and march in Avondale.

Abdul Bilal, also known by the name Randy Johnson, died of cancer July 15 at his home in Gary, Indiana.

In his five years as a street advocate for CIRV, Bilal was said to have participated in more than 100 marches and had a positive influence on more than 20,000 children in adults in Cincinnati.

"He spent a lot of time in the streets of Cincinnati pushing the message of stop the shooting, stop the violence and stop the killing," said CIRV street advocate program manager, Reggie Brazzile.

Those who knew Bilal said you may never see or hear about all the good he did.

"The change is reflected in individuals who decide not to shoot somebody today or decide, hey we're just going to talk this out instead of handling it in a different kind of way," said Brazzile.

Bilal also used an Avondale funeral home to his advantage.

"He had an idea to bring kids into the funeral home to talk about this is the final result," said J. C. Battle III with J. C. Battle and Sons Funeral Home. We had 30 and 40 kids at a time from Rockdale Elementary and South Avondale to come in," said Brazzile.

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