Friday night, Warren Central High School hosted a “3’s’ up” football scrimmage to honor Dijon Anderson. That was the teen’s number when he played for the Warriors. Last May, he and classmate Angel Mejia-Alfaro were shot and killed.
“It just shows the love and the compassion and just who he was, like he touched the community,” Anderson’s mother, Christa Frazier, said.
Throughout the game, video tributes to Anderson were played, his family was honored and students held up the number three. It’s also become a campaign for awareness, education and action.
“After losing someone so close to you, first person to ever be close to me really inspired me to start a movement,” Anderson’s teammate, Brandon Warren, said.
Warren and his classmates are taking the violence that took lives and turning it into a movement to save them. They started the anti-youth violence initiative We LIVE Indy.
“No matter how big or small, no matter how old or young, you can make a difference,” Taylor Baker, the group’s board advisor, said.
The difference they’re trying to make is catching on . Saturday, the group has a peace walk and community day planned. It starts at 11 a.m. at Washington Park at 30th and Dearborn. Warren says there will be vendors to help teens find job opportunities, community outreach and entertainment.
Mayor Joe Hogsett released this statement:
“When confronted with a tragedy that no young person should have to endure, Brandon seized the opportunity to empower his classmates and take a stand against senseless gun violence. Too often we talk about young people as future leaders, but the reality is, teens like Brandon are finding ways to shape our city and influence the conversation right now. I applaud Brandon’s passion and hope others will follow his example. Together we can make Indianapolis a safer city for all.”
“It’s bigger than Warren Central, it’s bigger than one person, it’s about the city of Indianapolis,” Warren said.
Just this summer, the city has seen a football standout at Ben Davis High School shot and a 15-year old arrested in connection to a triple homicide.
“Stop the violence, love one another, come together. It’s time to take our city back,” Frazier said.
It’s a message from a mother and a team who know the impact of violence first hand.