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African American Coalition of Indianapolis releases statement on recent violence

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The African American Coalition of Indianapolis remains frustrated and concerned about the level of violence in our community. We have previously stated our position on this matter and have been engaged in the work involved to make our actions speak more than our words.

As this violence has continued throughout the city, we remain concerned about the inability to peacefully resolve conflicts displayed in recent and other acts of violence. We also recognize the role that family, friends and extended networks must play in policing ourselves. Both parental responsibility, personal accountability and increased community engagement is called for as we address this community challenge together. We do appreciate IMPD’s swift response to this tragedy and we encourage continued restraint in their engagement with unaccompanied minors. While we support law enforcement’s efforts to remove dangerous criminals from the community, we will continue to reject over-policing and racial profiling as responses to community violence. Further, we have shared not only our specific concerns but also proposed strategies on community violence and other issues with city leadership.

As part of our engagement with city leaders we have highlighted both the social inequities and the lack of policy engagement on issues impacting our community ranging from racial achievement gaps in education, untreated trauma due to exposure to violence, food deserts, unsafe housing conditions and other issues that create challenges for people of color to live a dignified life in this city. We offer no excuse but we recognize the realities of two cities, one that is safe and well-resourced and the other that is seemingly forgotten.  

We remain committed to the following:

“Any vision for the future of this city must include addressing the consequences of under-investment in social infrastructure which has resulted in the persistence and even hardening of barriers to social mobility, the normalization of death, and the absence of public policy that speaks directly to our community.”

We also continue to affirm the following:

“The municipal elections cycle must be more than about potholes; they must also be about our social infrastructure and we will demand that all candidates speak to this problem. We will call on our philanthropic system to seriously address systemic issues dealing with poverty, systems of oppression, and racism. We will hold our business community responsible for being good corporate citizens through the conduct of their business, specifically hiring practices. We will support our youth.”

The problem of community violence continues to be an opportunity for every organization, family, individual, church to have a conversation about its responsibility to do something to engage in actions we know give hope, provide jobs, and support those who are grieving.

Finally, we will work to improve on ways to engage and support one another — a new social compact that resets expectations for engagement with each other as well as others.

Too many people are dying. We have not walked away from this challenge.

Indiana Black Expo

Indianapolis Urban League

Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce

Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis

The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Indianapolis Chapter

Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance

Baptist Minister’s Alliance

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Alpha Omega Indianapolis Alumni Chapter

The National Council of Negro Women, Indianapolis Section

Like No Other Foundation

Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper

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