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Organizations step up to 'Take Back Our Youth'; preach message of moving forward together

After a string of shootings left three teens dead, groups across the city are stepping up to make sure the violence stops, and kids have resources.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Organizations across Knoxville are banning together to address a recent spate of shootings that have traumatized the city.

Their goal is to help give young people opportunities - besides the streets.

“As we bury these children, we have to be able to look forward,” said Vivian Shipe Founder of “I Am the Voice of the Voiceless.”

Following the events of the past few weeks, organizations understand the need to move forward quickly.

“We’re look at any kind of way we can get these resources to the child and their family. And we need it sooner better than later, we don’t have time to wait,” Shipe said.

Shipe and her team serve as the link between the kids and the entities trying to help them.

“So, what we try to do is connect the children with different organizations…. We have to meet the children where they are, get the resources in their hands now” said Shipe.

One of those organizations is the Black Heart Youth Foundation, serving kids academically and athletically.

“We do a lot of sports training we do football all year around, we some things as for the kids as far as mentoring, we’ve been doing ACT prep + SAT prep we do college trips taking the kids to different colleges” said Athletic director Dwight Hundley Jr.

Doing what it takes to be an outlet for the right path, Hundley says that’s the only way to change the narrative.

“Go into the trenches fight for the community fight back our youth, take back our youth and make sure they have a positive atmosphere to be in and the resources to be successful in life” Hundley said.

Hundley says if they save one life, they’ve done their mission, but they hope to save more than one and do it while being present at all times.

“We have to be consistent and persistent on saving our youth,” said Hundley.

If you would like to help the Black Heart Youth Foundation, you can reach out to Hundley at (865) 243-6480.