Chattanooga Mothers Against Gang Violence

By Katie Johnston

Caitlin-Johnston@mocs.utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop)- Heartache laced with passion filled the air on the steps of City Hall on Friday, as women gathered to show their support for the ones who have lost their lives in the daily battles that are fought in Chattanooga’s streets.

With hands clasped tight, they joined in song with an understanding among all peoples present that they were not only singing, but they were soulfully weeping for their own fallen heroes who they say too often get swept under the rug.

In 2010, Chattanooga was ranked 11 out of 20 U.S. cities with a population over 100,000 for the highest crime rate, ranking higher than Detroit and Atlanta.

Demetrus Coonrod stands on the steps of City Hall to show her support for the fight against gang violence in Chattanooga.

Angel Kellogg and Demetrus Coonrod, are both residents of East Dalewood and have been working together for years to help come up with a solution to end the gang violence in our inner city.

“I was put through so I could pull someone else out,” said Kellogg. “Some of these kids will stay in the gang until the day they die.”

Kellogg said the misconception that many people have is that they think the change is going to come once we can reform the schools and the students in the schools. “I’m not worried about the kids getting on the bus, they’re not the problem. The problem is the kids walking down the street, smoking weed and drinking liquor.”

Click here to listen to Angel Kellogg talk about gang violence

Even though Chattanooga has taken steps at trying to deter violence by enforcing curfews for minors, both Coonrod and Kellogg agree that the change has to start at the root of the problem- the parents.

“We are mothers of the earth and we have to teach and mold our children,” said Kellogg. “I just want Chattanooga to be a safe place like it used to be.”

To show your support in the fight against violence and receive information about upcoming events, you can visit their Facebook page at Mothers Against Gang Violence.

 

Sources:

  • Angel Kellogg
  • Demetrus Coonrod
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