We LIVE Indy

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“What do we want?” “Peace!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”

These were the chants of We LIVE Indy as hundreds rallied the eastside to join their peace walk in Washington Park. WeLIVE Indy is a youth led group whose goal is to end youth gun violence in the city of Indianapolis.

Last Saturday, the group flooded the east side, crying out for peace in the streets. Over one hundred people from around the community were present to support the cause and join the march.

“The atmosphere at the peace walk was filled with positivity,” lifetime fitness teacher Candy Handy said. “It was a true sense of community coming together to support a cause that has touched every person that lives in Indianapolis.”

Handy painted faces with the number “3” representing the number football jersey worn by fallen Warrior Dijon Anderson. Many other supporters of the walk painted “A”s and “C”s on their faces, depicting the initials of loved ones lost to violence in the city.

“The purple and orange shirts, face paint and chants brought a vibrancy to the crowd and the function,” Handy said.

The onlookers in cars passing by were inspired by the group, honking their horns in appraisal waving peace signs out of their windows. People also stepped out of their homes and cheered the group on as they marched down the streets.

This shows just how impactful the movement has become and will continue to be in the future.

We LIVE Indy was founded by senior Brandon Warren after he lost his friend and teammate, Dijon Anderson, to gun violence. The name originated from a phrase that Anderson was known for, “We live baby!”

Warren proposed the idea to a group of friends his age who all agreed that something needed to be done and just like that, they were the ones to do it. They created an acronym for LIVE which now stands for, “Linked to Intercept Violence Everywhere.”

“I joined We LIVE after the tragedy that happened a couple months ago, I just needed to find a way to be positive,” junior Angela Ramirez said. “When Brandon told me his idea about We LIVE Indy, I was on board right away. After all the accomplishments We LIVE has had, I would never regret joining.”

The committee worked throughout summer vacation spreading the word on social media, making shirts, reaching out to sponsors, and contacting government officials. They visited as many events as possible, such as Black Expo. They passed out flyers and spoke to potential sponsors and students from other schools about the message of We LIVE.

Not only have they grasped the attention of many schools around the state, but also government officials such as Mayor Joe Hogsett, Governor Gregory Ballard and Congressman Andre Carson.

“Now that we have the community and the media’s attention, I want to work on expanding WeLive across all of Indianapolis and the Greater Indy area,” said Vice President Kiernan Brogan, “I definitely want to continue doing things like peace walks and community days.”