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'Please, stop riding by,' anti-violence activist says in accepting award

When someone asked Murray Holman if he could quantify, or estimate in real numbers, how many lives he saved over the years, the activist said yes, his group does indeed try to track its performance.

Then he paused and elaborated a bit.

"One life is enough," Holman added. "That's the only data I need. All I need to do is save one kid."

On Friday, Holman stood before a bank of TV cameras, a group of top law enforcement officials on one side of him and four generations of his family on the other.

And not surprisingly, the head of Buffalo's Stop the Violence Coalition came to the event - the FBI's 2017 community leadership award - with a message.

"Get out of your cars and talk to the youth of today," he said Friday. "Please, stop riding by."

Simple instructions, it would seem, and, if you know Holman's work, you down engagement, the face to face kind, is at the core of what he does with young people.

Kevin P. Lyons, acting special agent in charge of the FBI in Buffalo, says Holman can be found every day on the corners near Delavan Avenue and Grider Street greeting kids as they come to school.

"Mr. Holman has earned the trust of both law enforcement and the community," Lyons said.

Holman is involved in a collaboration of groups - Stop the Violence, No More Tears, MAD DADS, Buffalo United Front, FATHERS and Back to Basics - dedicated to ending violence on the streets of Buffalo.

He is also someone the police can go to whenever there is a shooting or incident in a neighborhood he knows. He also is seen as a community leader with an enduring sense of optimism about his city.

"If I'm going to stick with people, I'm going to stick with people with faith and hope," said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr.

Holman is one of 57 community leaders across the country to receive the FBI leadership award.

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