Neighborhood Peace Walk touted as ‘first step’ in bringing community together, deterring violent crime in Topeka

August 25, 2019. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Despite overcast skies and rainy weather, more than a hundred community members showed up on Sunday afternoon to Betty Phillips Park in southeast Topeka to call for an end to gun violence in the capital city.

Chants of “Enough is enough” and “The violence must stop” filled the air as attendees of the Neighborhood Peace Walk made their way through Topeka’s Hi-Crest neighborhood. The peace walk was organized by community volunteers, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and Topeka JUMP, an organization of faith leaders who advocate for sound policy at the grassroots level. And their message was clear.

Community members gather to discuss ways to eliminate gun violence in Topeka

June 7, 2019. KSNT

People in the Topeka community are taking a stand against gun violence. 

One of them is Angela Lee, whose 18-year-old son Justice Mitchell was shot and killed in 2017.

The annual basketball tournament to honor his memory was held Friday at Hillcrest Community Center.

Lee said seeing how much her son was loved by those who knew him makes it difficult to know he’s not here to see it.

Topeka JUMP continues pressing city on low-income housing ordinance

June 3, 2019. WIBW

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Topeka JUMP raised its voice Monday night to advocate for people struggling to find low-income housing.

Before its celebration to thank members for their work, the organization emphasized the importance of city support for a low income housing ordinance.

Police chief plans to pursue carrot-and-stick strategy to take aim at violence

May 4, 2019. The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Chicago police warned gang member Daniel Alcantara in the summer of 2015 that he was at high risk of killing someone or being killed, and offered him help leaving the gang life, according to the Chicago Tribune.

But Alcantara declined, and was fatally shot during a gang war in June 2016, that newspaper reported the following month.

The warning given to Alcantara was part of Chicago’s use of a “group violence reduction strategy” of the type pioneered by the National Network For Safe Communities, a carrot-and-stick approach that Topeka police Chief Bill Cochran intends to pursue in this community.

Topeka JUMP gathering draws more than 1,200 people

April 29, 2019. Topeka Capital-Journal

Religious fervor filled the Rev. Christine Potter’s voice Monday evening as she addressed more than 1,200 people from 23 Topeka-area congregations who packed into Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

“Oh people of God — this beautiful, diverse body of God — we are called together to work our justice muscles in unity,” said Potter, associate pastor of Countryside United Methodist Church. “We are called to jump with our voices, with our hands, with our feet and our legs, our entire bodies. Topeka JUMP — jump for justice!”