Group works to turn Ferguson anger into positive action - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Group works to turn Ferguson anger into positive action


A group of Kansas Citians are taking on the turmoil in Ferguson.

The Kansas City branch of Communities Creating Opportunity is working with people to turn their anger into positive action, one vote at a time.

Those who have witnessed the unrest in the St. Louis suburb say people feel powerless.

That is why Communities Creating Opportunity organizers are working tirelessly to ignite positive power, like community activism.

They say they are making huge strides but have also faced far more than they ever predicted.

Damon Daniel calls his visit to Ferguson traumatizing.

"In some ways, I feel like a wounded healer," said Communities Creating Opportunity Regional Director Damon Daniel.

But Daniel is going back to help residents transform their frustrations into community activism.

He is one of a handful of organizers at Communities Creating Opportunities who hit the road to Ferguson armed with information. They're helping residents "get out the vote."

The nonprofit has been steering rallies, meeting with hundreds of people in the town about the power of the polls and encouraging them to spread the word. The response has been overwhelming.

"People are eager to really transform the leadership there," he said.

But Daniel and Communities Creating Opportunities organizers will never forget their fear at first. When they arrived, chaos had peaked.

"It was terrifying. I was at a disbelief about it," Daniel said.

The memories haunt him. He said he had to sprint away from tear gas and turned to local authorities for help.

"They got their tactical gear on pointed guns towards us and told us to get away," he said.

Those experiences were eased by the group's progress to relieve tensions.

"I look at my work as an opportunity to really unlock the power of people and bring a sense of healing to the community," he said.

Daniel and other organizers say they've met with a slew of local politicians.

More than 50 Ferguson residents are signed up for training on encouraging their community to vote.

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