From felon to a fearless community fighter. A local man has made it his mission to make a positive impact in his community.
James Wilson had a vision in prison more than three years ago to turn his life around and pull his neighborhood up with him. He's the founder of Circle Up Indy. And Saturday he and his team will put on the Youth Against Violence Peace Festival in the same neighborhood he grew up in.
"I wanted to put together an event that would inspire the young people and inspire the community to come out both young and old to bridge that generational gap to come out and get involved and get connected with the resources that can help them be successful," Wilson said.
The vision became reality with title sponsors like Community Health Network to bring resources into this northeast side neighborhood.
"We just want to let them know that we are a force that's going to be here and we're going to continue to grow and build these partnerships and bring things directly right here in the hood. We don't need a big venue downtown, we don't need all these other places people need you here," Wilson said.
Educational tools, a town hall for people to talk directly to city and community leaders, and mentoring programs in the parking lot of IPS School 51 free of charge for everyone. A site that brings pride to the neighborhood he grew up in, especially for James' grandmother who's lived in the area for 43 years.
"I'm very proud of him. He turned his life around so I'm very proud of him," Joyce Harvey said.
From a life of crime to saving others from the same path James says the Circle Up team is just getting started and they invite all of us to be a part of the change.
"Support the mission that I believe in and many others so it's bigger than me, it's bigger than us it's not about me it's about the community and about circle up and that's what we're going to keep doing and keep pushing for."
The Peace Rally will take place from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. in the parking lot of James Russell Lowell School #51. For more information click here.