Taking it to the Streets: Community Continues to Take the Lead

Cynthia Manning Dirk youth specialist

By Vivian Shipe

KNOXVILLE, TN — The community groups and individuals in East Knoxville continue their efforts to change the trajectory of the lives of those living in East Knoxville. Determined to stem the tide of death and violence in a community too long ignored by the government entities that serve them; more and more organizations are stepping up to bring in the help that is needed to grow the area and the people within its boundaries.

Keira Wyatt, C.O.N.N.E C.T. Ministries director/founder

“People need food, and people need jobs NOW !” says Keira Wyatt, whose organization, C.O.N.N.E.C.T. Ministries is spearheading the event with co-host Jackie Gallman ,community leader. This will be a series of employment/career resource fairs designed to hire on the spot over the summer with a special kick off event to be held on Saturday, April 24th from 10 till 1 pm.

The event will be held on the grounds of Greater Warner A.M.E. Zion Church at 3800 Martin Luther King Avenue and will focus on food insecurities by giving families boxes of food, providing space for employers who are coming to hire on site, and offer vaccination opportunities and covid-19 testing for youth 16 and up. Social distancing protocols will be followed as directed by the Knox County Health Department.

Partners for the event are Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie, Cynthia Manning Dirl, youth specialist, organizations I AM The Voice of the Voiceless, New Directions Health Care Solutions, and resources provided by Alice Allen, Director of the SNAP program for Knox County C.A.C. office. The event is free, featuring local artists at a “Love is the Answer” Community Showcase/ Open Mic session under the direction of poet Felecia Outsey. There will be music throughout the day.

Employers willing to hire locally and nationwide on the spot for the duration of the spring and summer events, to give a hand up to those in need; are urged to call C.O.N.N.E.C.T.

Ministries at 865 851 8005 ext.103 and ask for Director Keira Wyatt or go to http://www.connectministries.net.