The state is tackling violent crime, by reaching out to kids.
Pine Bluff was the site of Arkansas' second Nonviolence Youth Summit.
Students traveled from all over Central Arkansas to take part.
The kids were told about the importance of turning the other cheek.
Organizers used principles from leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to give students alternatives to violence. They also shared statistics and stories about how crime impacts communities; plus there was a bit of fun.
At the event, there were kids trying to drive a golf carts wearing simulated beer googols, with state police officers.
Across the parking lot, other classmates climbed a mountain with U.S. solders; it seemed like a Friday of fun.
However, organizers say it's just the lure to get the kids plugged into serious issues.
"We're here teaching the kids to be proactive and to be ambassadors of peace and teaching the philosophy of Dr. King and the alternatives of nonviolence," says Dushun Scarbrough, executive director Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.
State organizers say hopefully events like these will eventually put a dent in statistics like the one that shows violent crime rates in Pine Bluff are more than twice the state average and according to the FBI homicide rates are about three times the national average.
Keynote speaker Steve Nowojczyk was Pulaski County's coroner in the 1990s, during the peek of the areas gang activity.
"How many of you in this room know someone who's been killed by the violence in the street," Nowosjczyk said to the crowd of mostly high school students. About one third of the people in the room lifted their hands.
Nowojczyk talked to kids about the realities of violence,
something Pine Bluff high school sophomores Blake Hall and Ryan Green say they can't help but be aware.
"I see it in my everyday life I see it like people getting jumped like hearing gunshots and stuff like that," says Green.
The teens say programs like this can make a difference by teaching young people, better ways to handle conflict.
"If you help us we will make a change. It's like positive influence," says Green.
Dozens of schools participated in the nonviolence summit.
Most of the schools represented were from southern counties.
Altogether, there were more than 600 students there.
The program was organized by the Arkansas Martin Luther King Commission, the Department of Human Services and the Arkansas Minority Health Commission.