advocating for crime prevention initiatives
Gun violence & community safety
One Sumter and Georgia Power hosted the Gun Violence & Community Solutions Summit in February of 2023 utilizing previously donated funds from Georgia Power, which allowed key leaders and citizens the opportunity to come together and gain more insight into this crisis and potential solutions. This Summit was facilitated by UGA Fanning Institute and allowed community leaders and concerned citizens of Sumter County to collectively identify realistic solutions to tackle the systemic issues that our community has and continues to face, concerning the root consequences of gun violence by highlighting the issue and its impact on individuals and families. One Sumter is collaborating with Sheriff Eric Bryant and Americus Police Chief Mark Scott to complete and debut the Reformation Project Filming, which addresses root issues that lead to gun violence to collectively identify solutions for our community, including interviews with key members of our community who speak on behalf of the crisis and discuss realistic solutions through a community lens.
"The Reformation Project" Documentary
We are delighted to announce the release of “The Reformation Project” documentary on YouTube. Initially premiered on Monday, June 19th at Whole Truth International Ministries, this thought-provoking documentary was produced by Fusion Creative Marketing and addresses social and criminal justice issues within Sumter County and Lowndes County. We invite you to watch the documentary on YouTube, where it is now available for viewing (see link below).
The audience was left in awe as they watched the film on criminal justice, captivated by its powerful storytelling and thought-provoking portrayal of the complexities within the system. Following the debut, a Victims Panel Discussion took place including 3 victims of gun violence, one being a direct victim and previous gang member who had the strength and ability to turn his life around, and two secondary victims who lost their child due to the hands of gun violence. The panel discussion was moderated by Americus Mayor Lee Kinnamon, an exceptional leader and individual who embodies kindness and compassion when speaking to individuals, especially to survivors. His empathetic nature and genuine concern for others shine through in every interaction.
In addition, it brings us great joy to highlight some more of the positive outcomes form this Summit, including the success of the Dwight Harris Boys Club and REACH (Raising Expectation and Changing Habits), which are two summer camps that took place in 2023 allowing youth the opportunity to engage in positive and healthy behaviors in hopes to reduce and/or alleviate the rise in youth violence during summer. One Sumter collaborated with the Southwestern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Americus Police Department, and Southwest Georgia Children’s Alliance, to celebrate and honor National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by assisting in coordinating a candlelight vigil in April 2023.