© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

If Kansas City wants to address violent crime, 'we have to create room for young people'

In 2023, 100 Kansas City youth gathered for the Youth Ambassadors' Annual Teen Peace Summit to share ideas on reducing violent crime.
Lara Salgado
In 2023, 100 Kansas City youth gathered for the Youth Ambassadors' Annual Teen Peace Summit to share ideas on reducing violent crime.

More than 300 people attended the two-day KC United for Safety symposium aimed at creating a comprehensive plan to address violent crime in Kansas City. Organizers hope to share their recommendations in April.

At least 26 minors were either the victim of or perpetrator of a homicide in Kansas City in 2023 — double the amount of 2022, according to the Kansas City Police Department's daily homicide analysis.

More than 300 Kansas City-area stakeholders — including civic leaders, business leaders, law enforcement and nonprofits — came together for the KC United for Safety Symposium and Community Forum last week in an effort to create one comprehensive plan to reduce violent crime.

Dr. Monique Johnston, executive director of Youth Ambassadors, a violence prevention and job skills program, attended the event.

"I think, what you find is that we have to create room for young people to come to the table," Johnston said. "We find that, you know, if you take time to connect with young people and ask them what they think the issues are, they can tell you what's going on and provide a young person's perspective about what they think would be impactful for moving the needle forward and stopping violent crime in Kansas City."

In April, organizers will unveil their recommendations from the forum.

Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As a producer for Up To Date, my goal is to inform our audience by curating interesting and important conversations with reliable sources and individuals directly affected by a topic or issue. I strive for our program to be a place that hosts impactful conversations, providing our audience with greater knowledge, intrigue, compassion and entertainment. Contact me at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.