Alive Community Outreach
Alive Community Outreach is a local faith-based organization focused on supporting families affected by homicide and providing nonviolence education to area high school students. The St. Joe Foundation is pleased to have awarded new grantee Alive $5,000 during this spring’s grants cycle.
Established in 2019, the mission and work of Alive is personal to its Founder and Executive Director, Rev. Angelo Mante, who was living in Georgia when he received word that his cousin was murdered in Fort Wayne. “His name was Nick Powers and he was like a little brother to me when we were growing up. My wife and our young family had settled in Atlanta and were planting our roots there, but after the tragic loss of my cousin we felt God calling us to come back home.”
Currently, Alive is the only faith-based nonprofit in Fort Wayne that draws upon Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolence as a framework for organizing and mobilizing for social change. “On the nonviolence and peacemaking side of our work,” explains Mante, “we believe that our work will ultimately lead to solutions. We are teaching young people how to resolve conflicts peacefully, which has a direct impact on the students we’re working with. But what’s really exciting is that we’re also teaching students not only how to be not violent, but how to assertively address violence at every level (personal, cultural, structural) in effective and creative ways.”
Alive offers two primary programs—Co-Victim Care that serves families affected by homicide and Community Education focused on educating youth and youth-serving organizations in Kingian Nonviolence. The primary initiative of the Community Education program is the Peacemaker Academy, a nonviolence leadership development program for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors at South Side High School. Long-term, the plan is to have a Peacemaker Academy initiative in every high school in Fort Wayne. “We need leaders who are equipped not just for the problems that we face today, but for the challenges we will face tomorrow. We are equipping the next generation to do just that,” says Mante.
The ultimate hope for Mante and Alive is peace and a generation of people equipped to work toward it. “As Bishop Desmond Tutu famously said, ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in,’” shares Mante. “Our high school aged students are already thinking like this and are making a difference in their school, which gives us great hope for the impact that they will have as leaders within our broader community.”