INDIANAPOLIS — Honest and open conversations. That's what the town hall "Stop Playing with Us" at Martin University on Saturday, July 16 was all about.
"We are together, we are smart. We have our resources. We can come together and change everything," said attendee Vickie Mitchell.
The grassroots group Circle Up Indy organized this event. Their goal is to uplift the community and create a safe, economically thriving Indianapolis for everyone.
"Us believing in us. How we don't need to depend on the politicians. We are still caught up in the nonsense that exists in our community," said James Wilson, the organizer and founder of Circle Up Indy.
Speakers including rapper Project Pat brought their own life experiences to the table. The interactive conversation covered everything from addressing violence to poverty and homelessness, plus a Circle Up Indy community development project called Rising Evolution.
"If we create generational wealth and we put strong metrics in place with that generational wealth, we control a psychological aspect for how we develop in the future," said Wilson.
Organizer James Wilson said giving youth equal opportunities to be successful in supportive environments is a big part of building a better community.
That idea is what brought out Vickie Mitchell and her son.
"Without us caring about our neighbors across the street, on our same street or down the road, we are not going to achieve what we want to achieve, which is a safe community in Indianapolis," Mitchell said.
There's no single answer to fixing systemic issues. But the group believes the work has to involve the people being impacted directly.
"It's all intertwined. You can't focus on crime without focusing on the food deserts. Without focusing on education and role models in schools," Mitchell said.