South Bend Woman makes T-Shirts to 'change the perspective' on city violence
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Tiffany Murphy has lived in South Bend her whole life. She said the violence that has struck the city over the last few months has pushed her to try to do something about it. She started making t-shirts as a way of trying to give people a more positive outlook on their community and taking the first steps toward ending South Bend's gun violence.
"The success of this is to bring awareness to the violence throughout our city, not even just the gun violence, but any type of violence throughout our city, to help bring change, to give us access to a better lifestyle," Murphy said.
Murphy is partnering with the Standing Against Violence Everyday (SAVE) Team in South Bend. She said she will donate five dollars off every shirt sale to the SAVE team. She is selling the shirts at $17 apiece and has sold 20 shirts so far and has $85 ready to go to the SAVE team so far.
Murphy said the message on each shirt, "It's not gangsta to kill one of your own," was chosen with a purpose.
"Just like the shirt says, 'it's not gangsta killing your own,'" Murphy said. "Before we can start to attack other things, we need to make sure we're starting at home first as far as all the physical killings, the emotional killing and mental killing as far as our words. It's not even just physically."
Murphy said she wanted to do her part in ending violence in South Bend so that she can know her kids are safe when they leave the house. She also said she was driven to do something after the shooting death of seven-year-old Chrisyah Stephens.
"Just hearing about the shooting recently, it just hit home for me," Murphy said. "We have to stop. We have innocent people losing their lives over senseless violence, and they're starting off at a young age. Some are six. Some are seven, eight, nine, ten. To me, it's not even giving them an opportunity to grow. It's not giving them an opportunity to live life."
Murphy said the idea behind the shirts was to get people to rethink their ideas about violence in the city and realize they can make a difference with a positive outlook on the community.
"That is the goal, yes, to make people rethink things and re-evaluate, re-evaluate," Murphy said.
City leaders said Murphy's idea is a great way for the public to do its part in ending violence in the city as they work to do so through budgeting and legislative processes.
"It's a shared vision," said South Bend Second District Common Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. "I think there are multiple ways of getting to where we all need to be at, but, again, until we start re-dividing the pie, changing the priorities of the budget and making sure that all the places in the city of South Bend are included, but the ones that need it the most are at the top of the list, we'll see a brighter day here."
If you'd like to buy one of Murphy's shirts, you can reach out to her on her Facebook page, calling her at 574-222-4297 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org