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An empowered youth-centered response to addressing youth-centered concerns can only be established through tru dialogue

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Tru Colors Indy, Bloom Project Inc., DONT SLEEP, and Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center join together to provide a platform for some of the most profound Indianapolis youth to speak to youth mentors, policymakers, directors, and other stakeholders that have an impact on the lives of the youth. The impact of community violence, social injustice, mental health challenges, and other critical factors have created an overwhelming amount of victimization and harm towards our young citizens. Additionally, we continue to see policies, legislation, media coverage, and political campaigns paint an unfair representation of the youth, minimizing their gifts, talents, and lived experiences. To this end, it has become imperative that we focus on centering youth input and ideas that explore plausible and relevant solutions.  To foster better relationships between youth and adult stakeholders, this coalition of organizations is hosting the Tru Dialogue Pt. 8: A Youth-Led Forum.  Tru Dialogue is a youth-led and youth-driven platform, geared to offer an opportunity for young people to demonstrate their power….Through their voice!  The premise is that for true dialogue to exist, there needs to be greater understanding from the perspective of those most marginalized, in hopes that cross-generational synergy can produce answers to the significant challenges we face as a city, a state, and a country.

A common complaint from young people and youth advocates is that adults spend a lot of time talking at youth…speaking for them…or completely silencing them altogether. This opportunity is to shift the power of dialogue and conversation into the hands of those most intimately affected. The youth hosts, panelists, and table captains will be able to address many youth-related areas while demonstrating their strength, resiliency, as well as describing the challenges they encounter. Audience members will be invited to constructively listen and absorb the information provided; thereby, developing strategies to build stronger intergenerational relationships, improve communication approaches, and reconstruct program narratives to be youth-centered and youth-inclusive.

 “Coming off of a year where we experienced record-breaking numbers of youth victims of gun violence, we are in a state of emergency. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the lived experiences of young people nor can we continue to diminish their ability to create relevant solutions to the challenges they face on a daily basis.” -Brandon Randall (Tru Colors Indy)

Tru Dialogue 8 will host a record number of youth leaders, 36 in total. The event will be moderated by two youth, including Lakyah Berry and Jerry Shropshire. The three-hour event will include invited stakeholders, city officials, faith-based organizations, and decision-makers of youth programs.  The format of the forum will consist of a panel discussion, breakout conversations, and an interactive report out and dialogue.  

Per Dominic Dorsey, Educator and Founder of the prominent organization, DONT SLEEP, “This forum is an intentional event that will demonstrate that addressing root problems is the only way to reach real solutions!”

The Tru Dialogue Pt. 8: A youth-led forum is Saturday, February 10th, from 1p-4p located at the Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center (2990 W. 71st St., Indianapolis, IN 46268).  For more information on the event, please contact Brandon Randall by email: trucolorsindy@gmail.com.

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