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Baton Rouge nonprofits collaborate to tackle issues related to gun violence

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BATON ROUGE - As homicide statistics in East Baton Rouge Parish soar to unprecedented rates, officials and community leaders are teaming up to unearth the root of the problem and take action to solve it.  

Several organizations working with city-Parish officials to implement these plans are 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge, C.H.A.N.G.E (Communities Healing and Nurturing Growth through Edification), as well as a host of groups participating in Project Safe Neighborhoods.

WBRZ's Nadeen Abusada spoke with a representative of one of the groups on Tuesday (Feb. 2) to find out exactly what community leaders are doing to reduce crime.

Santeria Tate of C.H.A.N.G.E. explained that the group is creating opportunities to have face to face meetings with members of the community and listen as they express themselves about gun violence, crime, and what changes they'd like to see in their neighborhoods.

It's during these discussions that members of C.H.A.N.G.E. will point out ways every citizen can play a role in reducing acts of violence.

"We are launching a campaign to reduce gun violence and promote safety," Tate said before describing once such campaign that was carried out during the last week of January.

Tate said volunteers with C.H.A.N.G.E. went to Baton Rouge's Brookstown area to meet with residents and discuss ways to to reduce gun violence.

According to Tate, the meeting was a success.

"The response from the community has been extremely positive," she enthusiastically told Abusada. "People in the community do want to see change happen, they just need help."

She explained that residents knew the volunteers were only there to help and so they wanted to collaborate.

"Our biggest thing," Tate said, "is to connect with our community."

It's this community-first perspective that seems to be making the organization's efforts successful, Tate explained. She said C.H.A.N.G.E. hopes to bring similar community forums to both Eden Park and South Baton Rouge.

A community meeting centered around efforts to reduce gun violence will take place Tuesday (Feb. 2) in Gus Young Park (4200 Gus Young Avenue, Baton Rouge) from 11 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

During the forum, city leaders will discuss a new neighborhood outreach and communication effort to promote gun safety in high impact crime areas of Baton Rouge. The project is funded through a federal Project Safe Neighborhood grant.

Members of the public are invited to attend the event. 


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