In what was an amazing day in the IPS community, approximately 80 IPS high school basketball players and their coaches, participated in a Conversation with Race Thompson and Trayce Jackson-Davis to discuss teen gun violence. Jackson-Davis and Thompson are both current student-athletes at Indiana University and partnered with Stop the Violence Indianapolis to bring awareness to young student-athletes.
The event, which was put together by Anthony Beverly a member of Stop the Violence Indianapolis, brought awareness to the influence these high school student-athletes possess. Wanting to make it known that these young community leaders can use their platform to change the narrative around teen gun violence.
With two phenomenal IU student-athletes Thompson and Jackson-Davis representing Stop the Violence Indianapolis, their presence garnered incredible engagement, observations, and questions from the participating high school student-athletes.
Thompson, when speaking, reminded the young student-athletes of the platform and influence they possess. People within the community, see them as leaders, allowing the opportunity to exercise their influence in a positive direction. That they can foster real narrative changes, with the current platform they possess.
Jackson-Davis spoke more about accountability, working hard, and staying positive through adversity. He explained, you need to be focused and avoid distractions when chasing personal dreams. To not allow adversity, or others unfavorable decisions affect their path in life. That success is always within reach, but it is your everyday choices that determines your destiny.
Prosecutor Ryan Mears told the players to use their platform on social media, as an avenue to change the narrative and foster change. Explaining the city has 420 youth, 18 and younger with gun charges this year alone. Positive influence in the community, and online can go a long way in decreasing this number in the future.
Resident Chris Ingram used his testimony to encourage the young student-athletes to not take the road he chose in life. Sharing his personal story that saw him make many bad choices at a young age. Leading Ingram to spend more than half his life incarcerated. After he changed his mindset, he finally got his life on track, and serves as a reminder of your choices becoming your destiny.
Pete and Cook Medical ended the night by stepping up again, committing to sponsoring Stop the Violence Indianapolis warm up jerseys for all teams. An incredible night that had a profound positive impact, for many young student-athletes with a ton of community influence.
Thank you once again to Anthony Beverly and Stop the Violence Indianapolis for putting this event together, along with all the speakers who spent their time giving back to their community.
“Conflict by human nature is inevitable, but gun violence is ALWAYS preventable.” -Stop the Violence Indianapolis