Muncie mom starts group to improve race relations

Posted at 5:59 AM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 05:59:26-04

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Jeannine Lee-Lake, hoping for a less divisive protest scene than seen on TVs across the country, founded The Muncie Matters Alliance.

"I know that sometimes people don't like it when you say all lives matter, but I'm a Christian and I do believe that all lives matter to God," Lee-Lake said. "That's the basis of where I'm coming from. "

This weekend the alliance held an inaugural community event at a local park, bringing together members that include local NAACP leaders, Black Expo officials and members of law enforcement.

"We want the sheriff's department and the police department to know that we care about them," she said.

Alliance members have also had multiple discussions about improving community relations and looking at challenging issues from other perspectives.

Delaware County Sheriff Ray Dudley recalls a recent comment in a meeting made by an African American man.

"He said 'When my kids came of age to drive we have to explain to them how to react when they come across a law enforcement officer,'" Dudley said. "That's something I never had to do with my kids so that kind of opened my eyes a little bit and to think about it from the other side. "

Lee-Lake's 25-year-old son, Layton was at the event.

"I think it's very important what [Jeannine] is doing and it's causing awareness," Layton said. "It's showing that cops are people too. Their lives matter just like us and just how we can be profiled and stereotyped, they can be profiled and stereotyped."

Establishing mutual respect, is Jeannine's goal and the foundation of her group. She hopes that foundation can be replicated elsewhere.