INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - People from across the city spent Friday evening inside Martin University discussing solutions to Indy's crime issues. The Martin University Alumni Association and the Minority Contractors Collaboration encouraged open dialogue during a community round table.
A panel of pastors, community advocates and business leaders sat in front of neighbors to share many perspectives using their personal experiences. The goal of the night is to come up with unified ways to resolve issues before one more person dies from violent crime.
"My heart and soul is involved in this," Dr. Dorothy Herron said.
Herron helped plan this discussion for our community with one major question in mind.
"Why are our children killing each other," Herron questioned. "There's gotta be an answer."
With at least 35 people murdered in Indy this year, time is of the essence.
"Let them know right away, once they pull that trigger, their life is gone too," Sue Williams-Ward said.
Williams-Ward is a community advocate for Haughville, and while her heart is there, she sympathizes with the whole city. Friday night's discussion centered around understanding some of the root causes of crime and overcoming them.
"If we're going to separate and divide ourselves, our kids are going to separate and divide theirselves," Williams-Ward warned.
Parents engaged with the panel, while also offering their own experience.
"Sitting back and watching and not stepping up to do something, that's not working," Montez Craig insisted.
Parents believe getting in their children's business is crucial to their safety.
"We need to know where our kids is at," Craig explained. "You need to know where your babies are at, and also be more involve with them."
The murders of Jalen Roberts, Marcel Wills, Braxton Ford and Kimari Hunt, all young people shot and killed in Indy this month, along with the arrest of four teens in the case this week, is still top of mind.
"I know both sets of those four kids that got killed and both sides are hurting, both mothers are hurting, one mother will get to see her kid maybe one day but the other will never get to see her kids," Williams-Ward said.
There is no time to waste, and people impacted by the crimes are using their pain as momentum for change.
"Community, we can do this," Herron said. "We can do this together."