The sisters of a man murdered on the streets of Belfast were in Birmingham yesterday to lend their support to the city's fight against gun crime.
The five sisters of Robert McCartney, who have taken their crusade against violence to the White House, visited the city as part of Birmingham's first Peace Week.
The event was organised by the Disarm Trust, a charity for victims of gun crime, and has been promoted as "a period of public declaration for peace in the Black Community".
Its aim is to stamp out gun crime and challenge the city's politicians and business leaders to invest in inner city Birmingham.
Backed by the Bishop for Birmingham, the Right Rev Dr John Sentamu, and part-funded by regeneration agency Aston Pride, the week was set up as a direct response to the gang feuds which led to the deaths of Birmingham teenagers Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare in Aston on January 2, 2003.
The McCartney sisters spent three days in Birmingham and visited the spot in Aston where the girls were shot as well as giving addresses to local communities. The event was launched by the Rev Al Sampson, a US civil rights campaigner who was ordained by Martin Luther King in 1966.
He said: "We don't call people gangsters or gangbangers, we call people brothers and sisters, and we're here to find ways to lift people out of their pain and find alternatives.
"We need an economic and educational summit in north-west Birmingham."
The Baptist preacher plans to open the doors of America's 200 black schools and colleges to youngsters in inner-city Britain. "One of the biggest problems we have is education," he said. "We are looking at how we can connect black people across the globe."
The McCartney sisters and the Rev Jamal Bryant - religious advisor to rapper P Diddy - came to the city at the invitation of Bill Brown, co-ordinator of the Birmingham-based branch of Disarm Trust.
Bishop Sentamu and music stars Sister Sledge and Gabrielle are patrons of the charity.
The event finishes today. More details of Birmingham Peace Week can be found at www.peace week.co.uk