Stop the Violence Indianapolis celebrate 11 years of ‘The Talks’

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“The Talks – Identifying the Mirror in Me” is a summer camp program dedicated to coaching 24 girls of color, ages 12-16 in potentially high-crime areas. (Photos provided/Stop the Violence Indianapolis)
“The Talks – Identifying the Mirror in Me” is a summer camp program dedicated to coaching 24 girls of color, ages 12-16 in potentially high-crime areas. (Photos provided/Stop the Violence Indianapolis)

For the last 11 years, Stop the Violence Indianapolis has been helping young girls work on self-image, self-worth and self-respect.

Created in 2009 by Anthony and Beatrice Beverly, Stop the Violence Indianapolis is a community organization that aims to be a catalyst for social change. The organization is completely run with the help of volunteers and focuses on programming surrounding prevention, intervention and recovery for kids and teens in high-crime areas, Anthony Beverly said.

“Most of the work we do is on the preventative end,” Anthony Beverly said. “We work with youth and families, and we have programs like ‘The Talks’ and life coaching… We also do work in the intervention world, and we try to go deep … it’s called the Violence Intervention Process.”

“The Talks — Identifying the Mirror in Me” is a summer camp program dedicated to coaching 24 girls of color, ages 12-16 in potentially high-crime areas, Beatrice Beverly said. “The Talks” aims to fill the gaps by including support in areas that are overlooked or misunderstood. Workshops are focused on self-worth, self-image and self-respect to help educate the girls on the importance of mental health and healing traumas, conquering inequities faced in the education system and growing statistics of gun violence.

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“We go in and we have real conversations,” Beatrice Beverly said. “We have conversations that include control and how sometimes it was taken away and sometimes it was given away, right? We have conversations about our educational system and how young girls are being pushed out at a higher rate than young men. We have conversations around gun violence, how the number of girls starting to carry weapons is starting to increase.”

Many of these topics are discussed in workshops with guest speakers, in healing circles, over meals and group activities such as crafting, Beatrice Beverly said. These workshops are often supplemented with outdoorsy activities — such as kayaking and canoeing — to introduce the girls to new experiences.

Each of the girls can return to camp for two years, and after they age out, they are always welcome back as interns, Beatrice Beverly said. Following the camp, the girls are invited back for different activities throughout the year as a reminder to continue giving back to their communities.

Having hosted this camp for 11 years — and Stop the Violence for 15 years — Anthony and Beatrice Beverly said the highlights are when they can see the difference, they have made in someone’s life and reinstill one’s confidence in themselves.

“When we talk about sustainability, people put that down based on the program being sustainable over time,” Beatrice Beverly said. “A program is built up to dollars, and when the dollars run out, programs cannot be sustainable over time. But what is sustainable over time is relationships: authentic, intentional, respectful and trustful, and that’s what makes it work.”

“The Talks” has had more than 250 girls go through the program, none of which have touched the juvenile system since, Beatrice Beverly said.

Stop the Violence Indianapolis aims to go deeper and build relationships with the community, including churches, nonprofits and community leaders. That way they might better help the kids and teens who go unseen, Anthony Beverly said.

Each of the programs offered through Stop the Violence Indianapolis is free, and the organization is entirely run through volunteer efforts. For more information or to register for “The Talks,” visit stoptheviolenceindy.org or call 317-692-9929.

Contact Arts & Culture Reporter Chloe McGowan at 317-762-7848. Follow her on X @chloe_mcgowanxx.