Community leaders on recent shootings: ‘Change is possible’

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – With a large number of homicides in Knoxville since just May 15, community leaders and activists have a unified message: “change is possible.”

“I’d just like to see the relatives and the communities, the neighbors, try to reach out to young people a little more often than we are and reel them back in.” said Maurice Clark, a community activist and city council candidate for the sixth district.

Related: 11 dead in 8 Knoxville, Knox County shootings in last 6 weeks

Clark says change starts within neighborhoods and relatives. That means communicating what’s right and wrong to teens, youth and young adults falling into illegal activity.

“Some of it is linked to education, or the lack thereof. It’s linked to a submission to authority. It’s linked to a lack of jobs,” said Kevin Perry, community outreach coordinator for Save Our Sons.

Perry says changing the mindset among young adults and kids is the first step to changing the narrative. Both activists say, violence isn’t limited to one neighborhood, but truly affects the entire city and all neighborhoods.

“Just have faith, put your faith in Christ, but also put your faith in your neighbors. Those who we come into contact with on a daily basis. Just communicate.” said Clark.

Save Our Sons is hosting a Sons Summit from 1-6 p.m. on Friday, June 30, at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Campus.

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