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Connecting with young people could be key to curbing crime in Circle City

Brandon Randall.JPG
Posted at 6:00 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 07:54:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A local initiative aims to curb the violence in Indianapolis.

Brandon Randall said he believes it’s all about connecting young people to the community. During a recent annual forum, students were able to share their stories with at least 100 leaders in the community who say they are ready to work with the students to make change happen.

“We are trying to shift things to positivity from destruction,” Randall said.

Community leaders got to hear the raw realities of what many young people are facing and what they view as concerns but there was also a chance for solutions to surface.

“They don’t feel heard they don’t feel seen and so there is this sense of exaggerated sensibility that if you don’t see me doing well I am going to do something, and you will see me,” Randall said.

“We are trying to shift this environment of self-image, self-esteem and get young people to understand we do see you,” Randall said.

“There were educators who want to implement a model into their professional development for their staff,” Randall said.

Randall, the creator of the Tru Dialogue forum, said educators were so intrigued there are plans in the works to form a program that is based on the student-led discussion with a focus on helping staff members to understand the plight of young people when it comes to working together to solve problems in our city.

Randall said this is exactly the type of progress he hoped to see when he started the discussion back in 2013.

“In 2013, that’s when Indianapolis started seeing record-breaking years and that year in particular I lost several young people that I knew,” Randall said.

He said there is still work to do.