Spotlight

Taking a Stand on Youth Violence

Warren and Ben Davis joining together for We LIVE Indy event on January 15

Evelyn Sanchez, Online Editor

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Indiana has seen a jump in homicide rates among young people. In 2013, Indiana youth ages 12–17 committed 20 homicides, and victims of these crimes ranged in age from 12–50 years of age according to the Indiana Youth Institute. Many Indiana high schools have recently seen more and more students pass away as 18.2 percent of Indiana youth have become victims of teen violence. The city of Indianapolis has definitely acknowledged these rates with many organizations helping to combat teen street violence.

We LIVE Indy is a youth-led nonprofit organization founded by Warren Central high school students. LIVE stands for Linked to Intercept Violence Everywhere. The organization was started after the loss of two Warren Central students in May 2017. One of the students, Dijon Anderson, who passed away was a teammate and friend of We LIVE Indy founder Brandon Warren.

“It was very overwhelming. At times I wanted to give up then I had to persevere as time went on because I knew our city desperately needed [We LIVE Indy],” Warren said when asked about the beginnings of the organization.

Warren hopes that the program will influence peers to combat youth violence and to influence one another in a positive way instead of negative ways. With the major involvement already being included, he believes each school can make an impact within their communities. He is inspired to not just have We LIVE Indy all over Indiana high schools but also around the country (ex. We LIVE Chicago, We LIVE Cleveland, etc).

Ben Davis Secretary Melissa Edwards is helping Ben Davis become involved with the program after meeting Warren during winter break. Edwards has helped spread the word about the organization using social media, the newspaper, and passing the information around. Currently, Senior Class officers and Key Club are also working with Ben Davis to get more staff and student involvement with upcoming community events.

“The future of We LIVE Indy from my view is to get the Giant community involved to assist [Warren] and stopping youth violence,” Edwards said, “We have got to work together as a community from police to teachers to parents and students to fight this. It takes everyone to make a difference.”

Ben Davis will be involved in an event on January 15 called Take a Stand Indy. Take a Stand Indy will beginning from 12 pm until 2 pm. The event is available for everyone to attend and to honor the great legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Take a Stand Indy will include celebrity guests, great speakers, prize giveaways, and opportunities to help out against youth violence. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, B Swift from Hot 96.3, and more will be attending the event. Our very own Ben Davis athletes and former football coach Mike Kirschner will also be attending.

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