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About Us

Drums Up, Guns Down was designed to help stop the cycle of gun violence in our communities in Knoxville, Tennessee. The program was conceived by Obayana Ajanaku following the deaths of three students who were killed by gunfire in East Knoxville. All three students attended Austin-East Magnet High School and their deaths happened within a three-week period. One of the students who was killed was a student of Mr. Ajanaku.


One afternoon, following the deaths, Obayana noticed the best friend of one of the deceased students, in a room by himself, playing the drums with all he had in him. He was attempting to release his emotion and pain. At that moment, the idea of Drums Up, Guns Down was birthed.  

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