Turn It Up, Take back our communities

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Updated: 6/01 12:16 am
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) We've heard what Chattanooga's Mayor Andy Berke wants to do to fight the crime in Chattanooga. Now community leaders have come together make their own plan.

It sounds very similar to Mayor Berke’s plan, but it comes from a different voice.

The Turn it Up event was the first of possibly many meetings on how community leaders can make Chattanooga’s neighborhoods safer.

Keynote speaker Abdule Sharrieff Muhammad of the Nation of Islam touched on some basic principles with a very simple but powerful message.

"Love and unity is what's missing in out community,” said Muhammad.

Many came to the Eastdale United Methodist Church to listen for solution in how they can better Chattanooga, and others came with solutions.

A.J Holman, a pastor a Bethel AME Church in Chattanooga, said, "There is a call for our leadership in our community to come together and to teach our children in our churches, in our mosque, and in our community organizations."

Charlotte S. Williams of Eastdale United Methodist Church added, "We are leaders by example. So once the community see that we are coming together that will bring our youth together as well.”

Even a singer T-Ran Gilbert, who grew up here in Chattanooga, said empowering individuals with self worth is important and it's what he strives to do.

"There's a time for you to be able to be a light to the world, you need to be ready and prepared to know your value,” said Gilbert

This call on the community leader to try and prevent crimes scenes like the one on Appling Street from occurring is one solution.
Charline Kilpatrick who has been living in Chattanooga 65 years said it should be taken a step further.

"I still think though that that parents need to take their children back,” said Kilpatrick. “I think the kids are out of control because the parents can't control them at home."

She also added the lack of parenting is causes a major strain on the life she would like to live in her Glenwood community.

“A lot of times I'm at home when I would like to be out,” said Kilpatrick. “All these drive-by shootings and all the things that are going on they really make a difference and it does frighten you."

This will not be the last time community leader will meet. They are already planning for another meeting in this June.
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