Vigil held by former Elkhart Memorial grad to raise awareness of - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Vigil held by former Elkhart Memorial grad to raise awareness of violence in Elkhart community

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Those impacted by violence in Elkhart attended the vigil Those impacted by violence in Elkhart attended the vigil
ELKHART - A vigil was held in Elkhart on Friday night at St. James AME Church to raise awareness to violence in the community. Those in attendance gathered in the parking lot sharing prayers, songs and a moment of silence for those who have died from violence.

Kimi Jackson was joined by her husband and son at the vigil. Her daughter, Kristyana, was killed in August of 2012 when two men tried to enter Jackson's home. "Our baby was taken at seven-years-old so that means a lot to us," Jackson said. "I just try to show my face where I can to show other mothers that are grieving and going through it. August will mark two years for us so it's been a long journey."

Divine Emagination Event Planning was in charge of arranging the vigil and related events. Kaitlyn Mitchell is one the owners of the company. She is also an Elkhart Memorial High School graduate. "Wonderful feeling to be able to make a difference and impact so many young lives, even older people, impacting them to make a change in the community," Mitchell said.

This is the second vigil put on by Divine Emagination Event Planning. Mitchell says this one is much more special because it happened in her own city. "It's just so much more support that I have here than doing it in Indianapolis. Not that I didn't have support there but being here where I grew up that I have a lot more support here," Mitchell said.

For everyone who came out and held a candle to remember those lost, Mitchell wanted them to take a message home. "The goal for tonight is just to bring the community together for something positive. So much negative has been going on in the community and we just want to do something positive. Be proactive in the community instead of reactive in the community," Mitchell said.

This is a message Jackson agrees. "If we can get the young people together and doing more positive things, they don't go to violence and guns and whatever else brings them to the streets to take somebody else life," Jackson said.

A youth block party will be held on Saturday from 1:00-4:00pm at the Tolson Park Center. The “Stop the Violence: Putting the Heart back in Elkhart” basketball game will start at 6:30pm that evening.

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