Community members hold anti-violence block party for youth

A Topeka neighborhood hosted a special event aimed at keeping youth off the street.
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 10:38 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Community organizers threw a “Stop The Violence” block party to add some positive light for young people facing pressure on the streets.

The block party was held in the East Topeka Renaissance District at 809 SE 12th St.

Organizer and community activist Curtis Pitts, says the youth under pressure need all the support they can get.

“We have the right as the city, as the community to support these young people because they have great ideas,”.

Pitts says elected officials, community leaders and even ex-gang members brought their support to the event.

“Right now everyone in our community is steering the kids away from gangs and violent activities and even some of the gangs themselves are saying hey, no, stay away this isn’t an option for you. They are out saying hey, no, and trying to slow this thing down. Curtis, how can we help? So we have retired gang members, some of the guys who been out in the street and might be out there too much now saying we need to stop now. Curtis, how can we help you? They’ll come through tonight and participate and be as positive as they can,” says Pitts.

It’s nights like these filled with simple games and activities that can go a long way.

Find positive opportunities and activities, find people with your parents, your church, your school, elected officials and partner with them and create activities that you like.

The teens in attendance say the same.

“So kids can come together and not kill each other. Just stay off the streets,” says local teens Ajalon and Jalen.

To learn more about keeping youth off the streets click here.