#MySouthBend campaign encourages community involvement

River lights in downtown South Bend// Tricia McCann WSBT 22

It's a new campaign to promote South Bend and you're invited to get involved.

It's all on Instagram.

Community leaders kicked off the #MySouthBend campaign Tuesday at St. Adalbert Catholic Church.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg said South Bend is going through huge changes. He wants a "residents eye-view" of it all.

"We're inviting Instagram users to use the hashtag #MySouthBend,” said Buttigieg.

People who use the hashtag may have their pictures shared on the city's Instagram. They could also be used on the city's website.

“There's a group of young talented committed photographers who are launching this initiative,” said Buttigieg.

One of those photographers is Jacob Titus.

"We can't build buildings, but we can create visual narrative's to build up the city,” said Titus.

Titus says it's easy to find beautiful pictures of Chicago, New York and Detroit. He wants to create that same level of city pride here in South Bend.

"If I can create the visuals for those people to see the city differently and imagine this is a place where they want to live and they want to have their business, then we can do some good,” said Titus.

Father Paul Ybarra is the priest at St. Adalbert Parish on the west side. He says he's already seeing those kinds of changes in his neighborhood.

“When you talk about the old Studebaker factory and some of the old industrial areas, a lot of that people don't naturally venture out to the western side of town,” said Ybarra.

Now Ybarra says Western Avenue is starting to mirror the beauty of his church.

"We don't have to close down places. We can invite other people to come in and be part of it and I think that's part of what this campaign is aiming at,” said Ybarra.

The mayor says #MySouthBend can be an illustration of the city's come back.

But he says photographers shouldn't just focus on beauty like St. Adalbert.

To get the whole picture, Buttigieg says we should also take a look at the edgier parts of town. He says that's part of the legacy of everything we've overcome.

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