INDIANAPOLIS — Students and community leaders took to the streets on Friday for a community peace walk in honor of Juneteenth.
It was held in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood and comes just one day after President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a national holiday.
The walk was organized by the Edna Martin Christian Center and Kipp Indy.
Students led the way and the dialogue.
“It's just a platform for a students to be able to voice their opinions on what they see going on in the world,” said Ashley Moore, Youth Program Coordinator at the Edna Martin Christian Center. “Kids like to speak. They want to speak about the police brutality, they want to speak about what's going on in their neighborhoods, gun violence and just the black on black crime as well.”
Students gave speeches to classmates, encouraging them to use their voice and fight for positive change in the community.
“We can do peaceful protests, we can reach out to our representatives and stuff like that,” Kenidi Lytch, a student at Kipp Indy said.
Leaders at the Edna Martin Christian Center said that is what Juneteenth is all about.
“As significant and historical as the event and the recognition is, what's most important is that it is backed up by action, you know things that really do create the type of equitable and accessible opportunities for the individual, all the individuals we need to serve regardless of race or economic status,” said Barato Britt, President of the Edna Martin Christian Center.
He said it is work that needs to continue year round.
“It serves as a reminder that there's more work that needs to be done. We need to continue to have the dialogue, continue to engage our youth as the assets they are and give them opportunities to lead,” Britt said.
“I want my classmates to walk away feeling confident in knowing they can do what's right for our community. I don't want them to feel ashamed, I want them to feel proud to be free and feel free,” Lytch said.