INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In central Indiana, many Black and minority families face disparities and barriers.
James Wilson, founder of Circle Up Indy, told News 8 on Thursday, “A lot of it has to do with economics. It’s a huge part of economics. We constantly say we want to see the Black community get ahead. We want to push and see them get ahead, but you and I spoke about the difference between change and evolution. The changing factor is we keep speaking about what we want. The evolutionary factor is getting done the things and moving forward. Put more dollars directly into the community and into the people.”
That’s a big reason why Circle Up Indy will host the annual Peace Festival. The free event will be from noon-7 p.m. July 10. In its fifth year, the event is designed to connect everyone to community resources. “It’s vitally important,” Wilson said.
“The goal this year is to really push and have a strong understanding of what socioeconomic trauma is really all about. I don’t think a lot of individuals have a full gist of what it is. It’s the root cause of why individuals are going through things, financially, drugs, mentally. Every aspect that allows them to be stuck and content in life. The goal of the peace festival is kind of help them push past those barriers and those aspects,” Wilson said.
The goal is for people to see that different opportunities and organizations exist that can help provide support for them. The event will be at Frederick Douglass Park on the near-east side during the park’s multiday 100th anniversary celebration. There will be carnival games, kids’ activities, food and live entertainment. But, employers will also be at the event, and people can be connected to community resources.
“Community Health Network is bringing their whole mental health team as well as substance abuse team. They’re doing physicals. They’re doing vaccination shots on site at the peace festival. Mentorship programs will be available. Employment opportunities will be available,” Wilson said.
All of this is deeply important to Wilson. He hosts a podcast on the All Indiana Podcast Network that puts the spotlight on issues associated with socioeconomic trauma that plague the Circle City. He’s a got a new episode coming very soon.
“The community is my family. They are my family. They raised me. They taught me so much, and I heard them when I came home. With that podcast, I talked about what the peace festival is about, how it got started and the emotion that fell behind it. This podcast will be so powerful, and it’s an eye-opener not just for me but for everybody else,” Wilson said.
Wilson tells News 8 the event is still registering vendors, volunteers, exhibitors and live entertainment. Circle Up Indy has more information on the event or call (317) 455-9272.