As riots and protests continue to threaten Baltimore, some of its more prominent residents and natives are stepping up to try and enter the conversation. Ray Lewis has already said he will forego the NFL Draft to stay in Baltimore and be present in this time of conflict and crisis.

Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton, meanwhile, is taking a grassroots approach to mending tense relations between Baltimore's communities. Tuesday afternoon, he hosted a get-together at Baltimore's Cloverdale Park, enticing people with free food and hoping to lay the foundation for a conversation.

Barton is a Baltimore native, having starred for the state title-winning Lake Clifton High School back in 2009. The crisis in the city pushed him to take a more active role in trying to protect the community he loves.

Barton said the food for the get-together was provided by McDonald's, and he only needed to pull together some utensils and paper plates -- and, of course, some people to join the party.

Based on this picture, it looks like Barton's get-together was a success, drawing a large crowd of people:

As some people wonder whether Baltimore is too dangerous, Barton seems determined to stay put and help be part of the solution:

So far, Barton seems to be having success both on the ground and on social media, serving as a rallying point and a leader for his community. It's a good example of a professional athlete using his reputation to effect positive change.

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