Indy group’s leader works with BET, Google to fight crime

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – From Indianapolis to Hollywood, The Ross Foundation has been meeting with Google representatives and Viacom’s BET.

They are sharing what they’re doing locally, in hopes of helping nationally, on crime prevention. 

Crime scenes are not tough to spot in Indianapolis. So far this year’s murder rate has surpassed this time last year. Last year and the two previous years were a record-breaking ones. Just this week, Mayor Joe Hogsett rolled out a summer crime prevention plan.

The Ross Foundation is working on its own plan. The crime prevention nonprofit focuses primarily on the city’s east side, but its founder this week traveled to Los Angeles. 

“It’s a variety of different community organizers, activist and leaders giving their best tactics on how they are boots on the ground and how they serve their communities,” said Dee Ross of The Ross Foundation.

“It’s a variety of different community organizers, activist and leaders giving their best tactics on how they are boots on the ground and how they serve their communities,” said Dee Ross of the Ross Foundation. 

The Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, a national advocacy group, invited him to Hollywood to speak on a panel. 

“Being able to serve on a panel to talk about the best strategies, preventing urban gun violence in our communities,” he said from Los Angeles.

The panel is part of the BET Experience, a weeklong African-American culture celebration leading up to Sunday’s BET Music Awards.

Meanwhile, with Google, The Ross Foundation leader discussed voting rights and criminal justice reform. 

“On a national platform, it’s definitely an honor. Especially being apart of the BET Experience, BET awards,” Ross said. “Walking in purpose. Walking in faith. I’m just letting God lead me.”

Ross said he was invited to the BET Music Awards, but declined so he could return to Indianapolis for the funeral of 14-year old Manny Johnson. Johnson was shot June 10 at a birthday party and died June 15. The Ross Foundation has organized a peace walk at noon June 30 in Johnson’s honor.

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