Saturday rally aims to pair 1000 homicide victims with 1000 anti-violence supporters

NOVA, the new effort to curb Kansas City’s homicide rate and reduce violence, is asking more than 1000 individuals to come out Saturday, to stand up for 1000 victims. Images on NOVA’s Facebook page, like this one, attempt to put a human face on the victims of violence.

One of the organizers of a rally against violence this Saturday is asking individuals to stand up personally for one victim of violence.

William Dowdell says there have been more than 1140 homicides in Kansas City in the last ten years.

So if one thousand people attend a rally at 31st and Prospect on Saturday, each one can take a name and stand up for one of those victims.

And perhaps ten years from now, Dowdell says, there will be a much smaller list of victims.

Dowdell is a community organizer for NoVA, a partnership of key law enforcement and city leaders working to implement a new approach to reducing violence.

He says he was struck by looking at a map showing that 92 percent of crime in Kansas City occurs in a 13-square-mile area near Saturday’s rally location.

“If we can mass 1000 people – a diverse crowd of people – think of the message we can send to that community and the people that live there,” he says.

Speakers are Saturday’s rally will include Mayor Sly James, Police Chief Daryl Forte’, Pat Clarke, community outreach specialist for Chief Forte’, Rosilyn Temple of Ad Hoc’s Mothers In Charge group, the Rev. Wallace Hartsfield Jr. and Dowdell.

A key part of NoVA’s strategy is changing the community’s expectation of what is acceptable. Kansas City can no longer expect, accept or tolerate 100-plus homicides a year, said Capt. Joseph McHale, project manager for KC NoVA.


  • Rally Against Violence, Saturday, August 17, 2 p.m.
  • on Prospect Avenue, between 31st Street and Linwood Boulevard, near the offices of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, 3116 Prospect Avenue
  • Check out NOVA’s Facebook page, where they are displaying photos of homicide victims

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