Desiree Ford turned her son Elijah Cancer's passing into a celebration of unity on Monday.

"We want to let people know it's not about territorial things, it's about brotherly love," Ford said.

Cancer was shot and killed last summer while trying to stop a neighborhood fight. The city of Albany posthumously honored the anti-violence advocate by recognizing June 24 as Elijah Cancer Day.

"He was a person that was committed to this community and helping individuals in this community embrace nonviolence," said Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins.

With the summer underway, the Albany Police Department has already investigated three shootings that happened over the weekend.

"A couple of those shootings were individuals that were known to each other," Hawkins said.

The chief says he's been cultivating relationships to resolve violence throughout the city, including a meeting Tuesday morning with the controversial Guardian Angels group.

"I'm looking forward to hearing what the Guardian Angels have to say, and we are absolutely committed to working with them or any other organization that is committed to resolve issues," Hawkins said.

Ford says the carnival is more than a celebration, it's a wakeup call.

"Families are hurting behind the people that are killed, and we need to stop," Ford said.

In addition to the carnival and celebration of Cancer's life being an annual event, Ford will also present supplies and awards to local students with high GPAs.