Indiana Black Expo launches anti-violence campaign

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Black Expo, Inc. (IBE) is pleading with the community not only to end violence, but to speak out when they know something about a violent crime.

IBE has created a public service campaign featuring the slogan “If you know something, say something.” The ads feature parents of murdered children, local celebrities and elected officials.

“Imagine it was your father, your brother, your cousin, your uncle, your friend” said the mother of Andre’ Stennette-Harrod, who was shot and killed on Father’s Day of 2012. “Wouldn’t you want to know?”

After Stennette-Harrod’s murder, no one in the community came forward with information.

The campaign is a response to Indianapolis’ most violent 24-hour period in the last five years, when six people were murdered in Indianapolis and one in Beech Grove on April 6 and 7. Three of the victims were teenagers.

The IBE website features a statement from the African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) expressing sadness and anger about the rash of local violence, and encouraging the community to take action.

“We will no longer keep our private concerns about elected officials to ourselves but speak directly to them about our expectations and aspirations on both sides of the political aisle. The municipal elections cycle must be more than about potholes,” the statement said. “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.”

In addition to the recent violence, Indianapolis has seen record homicides the last four years.

Anyone with information about a crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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