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‘Team Up for Peace’ urges Indy’s youth to make better choices regarding guns, conflict

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Posted at 10:50 PM, Aug 20, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Local nonprofits gathered at Tarkington Park Sunday afternoon for prayer and games, all with the goal of showing young adults that violence isn’t the answer.

Stop the Violence Indianapolis hosted Team Up for Peace — a community event in hopes of inspiring the city’s youth to make better choices when it comes to guns and conflict.

Shakoor Muhammad says he was shot twice. Devin Murrell says he was shot eight times. Cheryl Shockley’s son was killed in 2020.

“They backed in next to him and executed him. It was an execution,” Shockley said.

Stop the Violence Indianapolis is a nonprofit organization that empowers Hoosiers to ensure safety, justice and accountability to those who have been affected by violence and poverty.

Warriors for Peace, AthLead Indy, Team Tarkington and multiple other organizations partnered with Stop the Violence Indianapolis to make the event happen.

Shockley started Warriors for Peace in honor of her son. She hopes to create change in the city through the nonprofit.

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Muhammad and Murrell both started working with Stop the Violence Indianapolis following their encounters with gun violence.

“If we can interact with the youth and have them do something differently and bring these activities to them, whether it’s mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially or financially, then we can embrace them with the love they need,” Muhammad said.

Team Up for Peace hoped to show kids sports are a way to keep them on the right track while also sharing stories of how gun violence can impact those around them.

“We all know that the more you serve, the more you love, so this organization was put in place to counteract the hate and violence that took our son,” Shockley said.

Muhammad and Murrell say being a part of the younger generation helps them relate to the kids they speak with on a different level.

“I think it’s a big eye-opener because they think a lot of old schools don’t know anything. They see that I’m 29 and people like us go through these things too,” Murrell said. “As long as you desire to make a shift and change within yourself, you’re more than capable of doing it.”

Organizers hope that kids will reach out if they need help and take advantage of the resources that are available in the city.

For more information on Stop the Violence Indianapolis, click here.