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IU Football participates in 'Team Up for Peace' in hopes of curbing violence

team up for peace
Posted at 9:12 PM, Sep 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-17 23:16:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS— For the second year, IU football players will be using their social media platforms to help spread the message of stop the violence.

"We have a platform that can affect a lot of lives and using that in a positive manner is going to bring change to our community," said Sean Wracher, a senior on the IU Football team.

IU Football, Hoosiers for Good, and Stop the Violence Indianapolis are working together on the "Team Up for Peace" campaign. Players are using their name, image, and likeness to talk about an issue that resonates with them.

"I'm from Indianapolis, so I have a direct obligation to just be involved in things like this movement," said Donaven McCulley, a junior on the team.

"I've lost people, friends, family to gun violence and also lost people to prison," said Dexter Williams II, a red shirt junior for IU.

Anthony Beverly, the executive director for Stop the Violence Indianapolis, says using social media is a big way to reach teens and young adults.

"Here in Indianapolis, we’ve seen more teens get shot and killed than we’ve ever seen before in a short period of time, and most of those now are because of social media beefs," said Beverly.

Organizers say last year's campaign resulted in increased engagement and donations to Stop the Violence. It also provided players with an increased knowledge of what's going on and how to promote peaceful and positive alternatives.

"IU had 100 or so football players on the team make social media posts. Their combined effort reached half-a-million people and people began to respond to the point where teams in Mississippi and other places joined in," said Beverly.