MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that wants to cut all the beef in the streets.
Keith Leachman is the Founder of Stop The Killing, Cut The Beef, a non-profit organization that provides face-to-face mentorship. “Don’t take one day for granted. Education is key to success. You can be the best route running, corner covering but if you can’t pass the ACT, you’re stuck.”
Leachman knows how rough the streets can be. He lost a close friend, and his mission now is to redirect youth to a positive path.
“He was shot in the back twice,” Leachman said. “Four-year beef. That’s why I say, ‘Cut the beef.’ All this stuff is a small misunderstanding.”
We met up with Leachman at a memory wall at the corner of Pendleton and Park. His close friend’s name, Gramp, was on top.
Leachman said, “200 names, black-on-black crime. I think the youngest kid on here is Jaylon Knox.”
That’s why Leachman paired up with Melrose High School’s football team along with other schools in the neighborhood. He hosts cookouts and provides essential school items.
“Keith has done a backpack drive for the football team every year,” said Derrick BoBo, Melrose High’s Head Football Coach. “He has given 60 or 70 backpacks to the football team. Not only the football team. Kids that go to Dunbar, kids that go to Hanley, kids that go to Sherwood.”
Bobo knows how vital Stop The Killing, Cut The Beef is for the community. “Have conflict resolution. Show these young men that picking up a gun or fighting is not the answer to things.”
Leachman wants the community to know that there is a better way. “‘Excuse me. I apologize. My bad brother.’ It’s simple. Then you’ve got peace once you do that.”
That’s why Brown Missionary Baptist Church gifted Stop The Killing Cut The Beef $1,000 because cutting the beef early can clear up misunderstanding.
A true community changer.
For more information about the organization, click here.