WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Local community activists gathered together on Saturday to raise gun violence awareness.
Some of those seen at Saturday’s march say gun violence is not just a problem in Wichita.
“This is a nationwide issue,” said NAACP President, Larry Burkes. “And we plan to do our part to try to confront it.”
Wichita community leaders were in attendance for the march, holding signs and chanting for unity in Wichita’s streets that have been largely affected by gun violence.
“We want people to be held accountable for their children and for their neighborhoods,” said one supporter.
The march started at the Urban Prep Academy and ended at the Piatt neighborhood basketball court. Two months ago a man with two hand guns, approached the Piatt court and opened fire, shooting a 17-year-old boy in the leg. At the time neighbors say the court had over a dozen children who were all witnesses to the shooting.
“We don’t let our kids go to these parks anymore,” said one mom driving by the march.
However, community leaders say they are determined to make these communities a safe space for Wichita’s youth.
“It’s not right,” said councilwoman, Lavonta Williams, addressing the crowd. “I’m asking that we go back to that village mentality and say that it takes a village to raise a child and that’s what we’re going to have to do in some of these neighborhoods.”
Supporters in Saturday’s march say they plan on expanding these marches to other communities that have also been affected by gun violence.
“We have a coalition of different people, law enforcement, regular citizens and members of the community that say they want to take a stand and we want to take our community back so that’s what we’re doing,” said Burkes.
Members of the march got a head start on making an immediate difference by getting their hands dirty, picking up trash around the neighborhood.
“We aren’t one of those groups that are just going to talk about making things happen,” said Williams. “We plan to actually make it happen.”