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Community event focuses on reducing gun violence among black youth

The Let Them Talk Coalition presents Melanin Table Talk: A Community Conversation.
Posted at 11:05 PM, Mar 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-20 23:23:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Gun violence is impacting Indy's Black communities at a much higher rate than others, including local youth.

The organization Let Them Talk hosted a “Melanin Table Talk: A Community Conversation” to shed light on ways to reduce these numbers.

Conversation engaging with local youth leaders

“How can we bring them together, how can we bridge these gaps? Let Them Talk really exists to provide this education and resources to the black community as a whole,” said Let Them Talk Co-Founder, Heather Savage.

The event on Wednesday not only highlighted local resources available, but also brought together parents, youth leaders, local organizations, advocates, and more for a conversation looking at ways to reduce gun violence especially among Black youth.

One of eight local organization's at Wednesday's event

“The older they get, the more often we have the conversations to keep them safe,” said Howard Savage, a dad of three and the brother of Heather who was apart of Wednesday’s event.

“Our African American communities are suffering more, that’s why our drive is to get into those communities and meet them where they are,” explained Anthony Battle, another Co-Founder of the organization.

In 2023, there were more than 190 gun-related deaths in Indianapolis.

Local resources for youth, families highlighted at event

According to the IMPD Homicide Incidents report, almost 75% of those victims were black and roughly 27% of them were 21-years-old or younger.

"These are our kids. These are our nieces our nephews, our friends’ kids,” said Heather Savage. "There are resources available, but it's just putting that information out there and making sure communities and families are aware of what is available."

Let Them Talk’s event also highlighted some of those resources from eight local organizations that work with their coalition.

Local organizations providing resources

In addition to this, it shed light on the organization’s “Safe Summer Campaign” that will help provide programming for Indy youth while they’re out of school.

"We are creating fun events, car washes, things that they can get involved in. We're creating a safe space for them to just come and hang out,” said Battle.

The organization’s programming will be open and free to all families across the city this summer.

To sign up or to learn more, click here.