‘UnPHILtered’: #IChoosePeace seeks volunteers to help prevent gun violence
UnPHILtered: #IChoosePeace seeks volunteers to help prevent gun violence
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This January, the Indy Public Safety Foundation’s #IChoosePeace campaign will turn its efforts to preventing gun violence through community mediation and conflict resolution by supporting the foundation’s Indy Center for Conflict Resolution.
The #IChoosePeace campaign is an Indy Peace Fellowship program to promote peace over gun violence.
People in the city are encouraged to partake in programming during January and to pledge #IChoosePeace at indypeace.org.
The Indy Center for Conflict Resolution offers free training and services to provide community conflict resolution and mediation. As a means to curtail violence in Indianapolis and promote open dialogue, the center works with community volunteers to provide ongoing training and a means for resolution outside of law enforcement.
“To leverage the success of the #IChoosePeace campaign in June to promote Gun Violence Awareness Month, and then October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re hoping to engage the public at a time when everyone is thinking of their New Year’s resolutions,” says Dane Nutty, president and chief executive officer of the Indy Public Safety Foundation. “Each program of (the foundation) plays a role in curbing gun violence in our city, and by selecting gray to represent the neutrality needed in conflict resolution, as opposed to the vibrant orange and purple of the campaign in the past, we want to feature the critical and ongoing role community mediation plays in our work.”
During January, targeted community programming — including work with youths via a family night with Warren Township Schools, demystifying the mediation process by hosting a mock mediation at Moorhead Community Center, and ongoing community engagement with the center’s upcoming open house and volunteer drive — will allow Indianapolis residents to make 2024 resolutions for peace.
The next open house will be from 3-6 p.m. Jan. 18 at 958 E. Washington St. That’s east of downtown at the intersection with Cruse Street and Southeastern Avenue. People can meet the center’s staff and volunteers, and learn about mediation and becoming volunteers.
For help getting started, the center will identify and train 99 community mediators, one for every Indy neighborhood.
“With 99 neighborhoods across Indy, we’ve set a goal to identify and train a community mediator in every neighborhood to build a network of peace in Indy,” says Vanessa Romero, the center’s director. “We’ve cultivated great relationships with IMPD (Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department), area schools, and even city agencies like (the city government’s Department of) Business and Neighborhood Services and the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advocates to provide training and tools to resolve conflict in a meaningful way. We’re excited to add more volunteers to the program and have representation across our city.”
The Indy Peace Fellowship and the Indy Center for Conflict Resolution are a partnership with the Indy Public Safety Foundation and the Indianapolis Office of Public Health and Safety, developed as part of the City Violence Reduction Strategy.