INDY RISES UP AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

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INDY RISES UP AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

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Protesters flooded the streets of Indianapolis on Saturday, August 10th. They rallied together at George Washington Park to stand against the ceaseless gun and youth violence that has devastated the United States. These people participated in a peace walk. The peace walk occurred just days after 31 people died and more than four dozen were injured in the El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio shootings. This was the third annual peace walk which was founded by We LIVE Indy. Brandon Warren, founder and CEO of We LIVE Indy, stated that this year’s peace walk came just in time.

We LIVE Indy is a student lead organization stationed in Indianapolis.  This organization was founded by Brandon Warren in 2017. We LIVE Indy was established after a close friend and teammate Dijon Anderson, and Angel Mejia were killed due to gun violence. Other high schoolers in hisschool, Warren Central High School, collaborated together with him to create the We LIVE group. The organization’s website encourages people to join them in “deteriorating youth violence.”

Warren reminds us that We LIVE Indy is all “about caring, {and} it’s about unity.’

Another group that was in attendance was Circle Up Indy. Circle Up Indy is a nonprofit community based organization. Circle Up Indy was established in 2014, and in the same year their organization began, they hosted their first annual peace festival, just like the festival that was held after the peace walk. Circle Up Indy provides resources to the community to inspire less violence.

Both organizations are known locally for standing up against youth violence in their community. In attendance were Brandon Wolf, survivor of the PULSE nightclub, and Bree Butler, survivor of the Santa Fe school shooting. Both attendees had spoken on their experiences with gun violence.  Before the peace walk started, everyone joined hands in prayer. Afterwards, the groups gathered at Douglass Park for a community day, which inspired people to bring about change in their community.

The youth in the community listened to multiple people speak on the issues of youth and gun violence their community faces. Wolf and Butler were both speakers that encouraged the youth to notice the violence around them and vote for change! Warren also spoke out about the youth violence and how we should take control of the overwhelming situation.

“I realize there are systemic issues that cause gun violence and you know, day by day and step by step we are attacking them,” Warren, leader of We LIVE Indy stated.

After the walk concluded, people in the area gathered to attend a community day. At this community day, people were given Hope Flowers. These flowers were made in the months prior by local, Misty Dawn Kuneman, in collaboration with Brandon Warren. These flowers were made to be given out to people that were in need of hope or have suffered a loss of a loved one due to gun violence.

The community of Indianapolis is now workingharder than ever to end the violence that has become so normalized. These two foundations are working together and with the youth of Indy to end gunviolence.