NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Today marks National Night Out across the country, a time for everyone to get out and socialize in their community, and to try to curb violence.

“National Night Out is, I guess, what it was really created for, was to come out and get a chance to meet your neighbors,” said former gang member and advocate for change, Leifel Jackson.

Oct. 4 is National Night Out and “Leifel Jackson day in the city of NLR,” stated Jackson.

Leifel Jackson grew up in North Little Rock and is no stranger to violence.

“Our communities have been ripped apart. I’m going to raise my hand, I played a part in it, okay, so I just really want to play a part in helping bring our communities back together,” said Jackson.

Jackson said one thing about back in the day’s violence, “it would happen in places where violence frequented, now there is nowhere to go without violence finding you”.

Jackson said nights like these are necessary.

“Especially with what we are going through in LR and NLR, and across our country with all of the violence, this night really represents us coming back together and getting a fresh start in our communities,” said Jackson.

This is the first year Leifel Jackson hosted an event at his home.

“I want this day, Leifel Jackson day, to go down in history as a day of service to our communities, so me having this at my home where I lay my head, it’s awesome,” said Jackson.

Jackson hopes next year, “I want to make it a whole lot bigger.”

To let the kids in the community see unity.

“Go visit your national night out, have a good time, eat, visit the kids, let the kids see you together, it will have an impact on them that’s long-lasting,” stated Jackson.

Jackson said this night is the perfect time to reset for the end of the year, and it is crucial to help curb the violence in our state.