Local activist taking stand against violence with new project
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A local activist is calling on the city of South Bend to come together and take a stand against violence and crime in the community.
Kintae Lark, a South Bend business owner and resident, and an estimated 100 other people plan to gather Friday night at the intersection of N. Adams St. and Lincolnway West from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. to peacefully protest ongoing violence and call for reformation in South Bend.
“My goal is to help to bring people together,” said Lark.
Friday’s demonstration is the first of three parts of a larger plan Lark created called the Lincolnway Corridor Project.
Lark is still putting together the final two phases, but he says phase one includes hosting events this summer that connect members of the community like pastors, business owners, parents and politicians at various intersections up and down Lincolnway West.
He hopes the connections made between people at these meetups bring awareness to community and government resources available that can better people’s likes and improve South Bend.
“If we’re there, drug selling cannot be at the same time,” said Lark. “If we’re there, shooting cannot be at the same time… If we can have faith in this truck that we call an Armadillo as a deterrent against violence, how much more effective would it be if we stood in the gap instead? I’m not saying we have to stand there everyday but if need be, if it decreases the violence, so be it, but if we just begin to be more purposeful, things can begin to change.”
Larks says eventually they want to take this movement to other neighborhoods.
“We need opportunity,” said Lark. “As a city, we need to take ownership. So if I have three things that I’m working with, let me multiple that so we can have more. We have to do something, so that’s what the corridor project is about. Some will think it’s silly some will get involved, at the end of the day, I’m just doing what I’ve been assigned to do”
He hopes Friday’s event inspires change.
“If you go to inspiration school, you’re going to see about 20 students all making a lifestyle change,” said Lark. “Maybe it’s not 200, maybe it’s not 2,000 but its 20 and we can make a difference in our immediate surroundings.If my business can do that and the business across the street can reach there, and that business can reach, we can begin to make an impact.. Will everyone be saved? No, but even if it’s just a few, those few will multiply.”
A South Bend police spokesman sent ABC57 in response to the recent shootings.
“Since June 1, the South Bend Police Department has arrested three people connected to shootings. Two are now facing attempted murder charges. These shootings are not random. Someone has knowledge before and after shots are fired. We will continue to call on our community to say "enough" and do “enough” to help stop this violence.”