RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Trey Songz, a multi-platinum R&B recording artist, is sponsoring a three-day event series in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement in Richmond and Petersburg this weekend.

“I wanted to bring the unity, peace and hope I felt while marching in California, back home,” Songz said.

He was originally approached by grammy-winning musicians Pusha T and Tony Draper, as well as former NBA star Ricky Davis, to participate in the “Feed Your City Challenge.” This drive collects groceries and essential PPE supplies for community members through non-contact drive-thru lanes.

“Knowing that black communities like the one I was raised in have been disproportionately affected by the corona virus,  I wanted to help anyway I could and now was the time,” Songz said.

Songz will be hosting the drive in his hometown of Petersburg working alongside Mayor Samuel Parham, and the city’s Deputy Chief of Police, Travis Christian.

However, given the past few weeks of protests, Songz decided to expand the challenge into a full weekend of events.

“I’ve been brutalized by police myself and I’ve seen it happen before my eyes both in person and in the same videos most of the world has seen. I have a platform that reaches many and I’ve chosen to be very vocal about my beliefs in the failures of America when it comes to equality for my people.,” Songz said in an email. “Being from Virginia racism is an issue I’ve seen first-hand many times as I’m sure many black people have.  I’m from Petersburg, Virginia and being from here made me who I am, I feel a responsibility to stand up for everyone who looks like me.  I hope and pray this weekend is all that I know it can be.”

Here’s what’s happening:

  • Candlelight Vigil: Thee weekend of events will start off with a vigil at the Robert E. Lee Statue on Monument Ave. at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 19.
  • Feed The City Challenge: The food drive is to help feed community members impacted by COVID-19 will kick off at noon on Saturday, June 20, at 41 South Union St, Petersburg, VA 23120.
  • Father’s Day BLM Bike Ride: This ride in partnership with Urban Cycling Group will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 21, at Bryan Park in Richmond.

Songz recently released the song “2020 Riots: How Many Times” about the current protests over the death of George Floyd.

“Three or four nights ago, I woke up in the middle of my sleep…I couldn’t sleep,” Songz said in an interview with the Rolling Stone. “My chest was hurting. I got up and called my producer, Troy Taylor, and I said, ‘We’ve got to make music that touches the soul, that really addresses what the world is feeling right now. Especially our people.'”

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