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Marion County Prosecutor’s Office using youth-led violence prevention billboard campaign

The newly unveiled signs were designed by local kids, some of which have seen violence first-hand.

MARION COUNTY, INDIANA, Ind. — Indianapolis' violence problem is affecting children. Some of the city's youngest residents are taking a stand in a big way, hoping you'll notice.

More than two dozen billboards will soon be placed throughout the city.

The newly unveiled signs, like the one on North Keystone Avenue, were designed by local kids like 17-year-old Shaneice Brown. She has seen violence firsthand.

"My stepfather actually killed somebody, but I realized even though I was around a lot of violence, I was around people who are changing, people who need help. So, of course I was impacted, but I was also inspired. I just want to touch the hearts of people in the community and turn them from blue to red again," Shaneice said.

Their work features two designs. One reads: "We are powerful. Beautiful. Family. Human." It shows hands working together to promote unity.

The second reads: "What is actually behind the violence?"

Credit: WTHR/Gina Glaros
Two of 25 billboards designed by youth going up around Indianapolis promoting anti-violence messages.

It's a collaboration between the Marion County Prosecutor's Office and VOICES Corporation.

"She talked about the fact that adults need to do a better job of listening to kids and that they need to do a better job of listening to young people on the topic of violence and that if we gave young people a voice, it would put us in a better position than we otherwise would be in," said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.

"Have a discussion about what these billboards actually mean. Why were they put up? Why should we pay attention to them? Why is it important to care about us and our community and what's happening right now?" Shaneice said.

The billboards will be up for a month. They're all provided by Reagan Outdoor Advertising.

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