The fourth annual Wichita Walk Against Gang Violence will be held Saturday.
Last year’s walk attracted 1,000 people, and organizers are hoping to at least double that figure this time.
But the 2012 walk was “on the day of the tornado,” Wichita Police Capt. Rusty Leeds said of the April 14 tornado that struck Oaklawn and part of south Wichita.
Concerns about the conditions likely kept many people away. No such threat looms for this weekend.
This year’s walk begins at 10 a.m. at McAdams Park, 1329 E. 13th Street, and will extend for nearly two miles.
“This is a citywide march,” City Council member Lavonta Williams said. “We are sending the message our youth have something to do other than crime.”
The Wichita Ministerial League is supporting the walk, along with several churches.
Pastor Dave Fulton of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church said the walk isn’t just about gang violence — it’s a statement against all violence.
“The violence in our city is on par with some countries in Europe,” said Fulton, who also founded Safe Streets, a nonprofit organization that focuses on community mobilization, youth engagement and building partnerships. “How much are we going to take before we start acting together” to reduce the violence?
The event includes free activities for children and educational booths and displays.