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Community activist buys out movie theater for people to watch 'Just Mercy'

Posted at 2:23 AM, Jan 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 02:23:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Well-known community activist Derris "Dee" Ross bought out an entire movie theater for underprivileged youth to be able to see the movie "Just Mercy"

Based on a true story, the movie stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. Jordan is a lawyer who takes on the case of a man, played by Foxx, that was wrongly convicted of murder based on police coercion and perjury. Just Mercy

Ross used this movie to have a conversation about topics like criminal justice reform, wrongful convictions, mental health, bills/policies, and the next steps people can take to make the community a better place for everyone.

After the movie was over, a Q&A was held. Ross invited people like Ryan Mears, the Marion County Prosecutor, to talk about the aforementioned topics. Mears has been very vocal about ensuring his office does not contribute to the system that has unfairly punished black and brown people harsher than their white counterparts.

"It's a good thing to have here in Indianapolis because a lot of our boys need something to do, something positive besides sports," Jalynnka Harris, a mother who attended the event, said.

Harris says the programs and events put on by The Ross Foundation benefit everyone, but in particular black kids. She says it allows them to see people who look like them doing great things. That's why the mother of 5 encourages all of her kids to come out when things like this are happening in the community.

"It put a spark in them and if it put a spark in them, it put a spark in me," Harris said. "I'm glad they're enjoying it."