LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Mayor Linda Gorton named Lexington native, Devine Carama, as the new Director of One Lexington, an anti-violence program, on Wednesday.
Carama has been a community activist in Lexington for more than a decade.
He's a community engagement coordinator. He's the director of "Believing in Forever" which offers youth programming. He runs an annual coat drive. He started a library where African American books are given out to kids. He's an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky. The list goes on and on.
Now, he'll be taking his connections created over the years and his passion for the community and use them in an official capacity at One Lexington.
"He's not what some would view as a traditional candidate for the job, but you know, we're beyond that," Gorton said. "He brings exactly what we need."
In the new role, he will aim to bridge the gap between the community and resources.
"For some of the things that policing is going through today, we need those connections, we need that bridge," Lexington Police Department Chief Lawrence Weathers said. "So I'm really looking forward to it."
For Carama and One Lexington, the goal is to stop the violence before it starts.
"I tell people all the time, once the gun is shot, once violence ensues, it's too late," Carama said. "The issue happened way before the confrontation so we have to go to the root problems."
With 16 gun-related homicides in Lexington so far in 2021, the need for this work is great.
His first day will be June 7th after the Urban County Council approves his appointment to the position.