East Tulsa Prevention Coalition Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Sunday, September 13th 2009, 6:25 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News on 6

TULSA, OK -- The East Tulsa Prevention Coalition marked its ten year anniversary Sunday afternoon.

The Prevention Coalition focuses on keeping East Tulsa kids off of drugs and in school.

Coalition officials believe they have made a great deal of progress over the past decade and the event was designed to highlight that.

Held at the Green Country Event Center, the event featured music, food and resources for the East Tulsa community.

Organization officials say East Tulsa has evolved into the most diverse community in Oklahoma and that diversity was on display Sunday.

"East Tulsa is one of the most diverse places in Tulsa, lots of ethnic diversity here," said Greg Taylor, Garnett Church of Christ Minister.

"I'm looking around and I see people from Africa, from Latin America, from South Asia, East Asia, as well as from European backgrounds, all over the United States," said Leonard Busch, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

It's that diversity that organizers say inspired the formation of the East Tulsa Prevention Coalition ten years ago. Composed of a number of local groups, the coalition strives to help people deal with issues affecting East Tulsa.

On Sunday, the resources they have available were on display. The Prevention Coalition provides resources including help for those struggling with their finances or learning the English language.

"When a family is not able to pay their rent or to have enough to feed themselves or learn the language, these people are here to fill that need, fill that gap," said Jordan Whitt-Araya, Community Service Council.

The coalition admits there are plenty of East Tulsa issues left to tackle, but its members believe they have made a great deal of progress in ten years.

"Year by year, the impact on the kids that have been served has been very good, very impressive," said Leonard Busch.

"It's nice to see the people of East Tulsa understand that there are a lot of agencies out there to help them with whatever need they may have," said Jordan Whitt-Araya.

And while it was a celebration ten years in the making, the coalition hopes it will be the first of many.

"It's right here in our community and we love it and we want to be a part of it," said Greg Taylor.

Over the past ten years, the coalition has also worked on family development, leadership activities, health initiatives and gang prevention.