KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The nonprofit, 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville is an organization that works with Knoxville’s Black male teens to keep them on the straight and narrow. We spoke with them last month after the shooting death of 15-year-old Justin Taylor, who we later reported was an Austin-East student.
Since that meeting, two more Austin-East students have been killed. Now 100 Black Men Knoxville president, Chris Beatty is saying it’s time to kick their outreach into high gear.
“We’re gonna go to work. We’re going to speak, we’re going to come up with an action plan and we’re going to go to work,” Beatty said.
These deaths hit close to home for the organization. They work closely with teenagers in the East Knoxville community.
“This is not a situation where you’re going to come in with a solution inside your pocket. I think it’s time that we go and we hear from the people that are most affected and tell us what are the issues, what’s the problem, what is the solution you need? And that’s going to be our approach,” Beatty said.
Beatty says he has several meetings scheduled over the weekend with members of the community to put a more specific plan of action in place.