Linked to intercept violence everywhere

Indy took a stand together


Anna Eggers, Staff Writer

The Indianapolis community has been faced with a large amount of tragedy within the past few years.

Within just the past few years, a Ben Davis junior, Juan Romero-Sanchez, and two Warren Central students, Angel Mejio-Alfano and Dijon Anderson, lost their lives to violence in the Indianapolis community. Over the summer, another Ben Davis student, senior and football player Rondell Allen, was shot and hospitalized due to this unnecessary and devastating violence.

We LIVE Indy was started by Warren Central senior Brandon Warren. After the death of his two classmates, Warren decided that he would create a group to help prevent further violence in our community. Standing for Linked to Intercept Violence Everywhere, the group makes teenagers and their adult sponsors reveal the pain violence creates and gives us the motivation to prevent future mistakes.

The connection between Ben Davis and Warren Central’s We LIVE Indy group could not have come at a better time. The process has been long one to be able to become part of the group. Front office extraordinaire, Melissa Edwards, told us what it was like to join the group.

“I have been working with founder and CEO Brandon since July.  We recently were able to jump on board with We Live Indy as a school. There are many practices, procedures, and protocols before we go any further as with any school district. Once we have everything in place we will be ready to move forward and open up opportunities for our student body supporting We Live Indy,” Edwards said.

Warren Central has had two main events to help draw attention to our need to stop the violence. The first event occurred on August 12 and was a peace walk that spanned from a Juvenile Detention center to Washington Park. As the students marched, they shouted out their support of peace and filled the streets with positivity.

This past Monday, on Martin Luther King Jr. day, Warren Central threw another event to support their cause. This time, it was a simpler approach but had just as big of an effect on those who attended. Hundreds of students, staff, and community members from Ben Davis and Warren Central gather in the Warren Central auditorium to listen to speakers explain the importance of We LIVE Indy. Panels spoke on needing to stop easy access to guns, resolving fights peacefully, and learning to forgive.

“You have the same power as anybody else. You have your voice, use it. You have a stand for your community, your city. We all have our hands in this,” Warren said.

Everyone does have their hands in this, whether it be students or staff. The Ben Davis Coach Mike Kirschner has been very outspoken about violence in our community. After the football team won state, one of his key talking points at the pep rally was about parents and kids working together to prevent violence. The topic hits close to home because of his tight relationship with students who have dealt with violence, like Allen.

“Cus D’Amato: “The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it into the fire.” We have an opportunity to change lives and we must do this by loving one another. The most important thing I heard – the only way for evil to win is for good people to do nothing. We have to learn that we are responsible for each other, that we must help each other and we must learn to love each other – that means we must stop the hate and find the good in each and every one of us,” said Kirschner.

Even though our communities have been faced with difficulties we should never have even had to imagine, Warren Central, Ben Davis, and others are coming together and creating something beautiful. In the future, Ben Davis looks forward to contributing events of their own and continuing to support the ones that Warren Central holds. Both student bodies feel the need for this type of attention and will work hard to keep it coming.

The core necessity in battling to preventing violence is to hold each other accountable. The best way to do that gives each other hope. No matter who you are, what you do, where you’ve come from or where you’re going, violence can end.