City Transitions “Your Life Matters” to Indiana Black Expo
Move provides long-term sustainability for initiative aimed at preventing violent crime
INDIANAPOLIS – Mayor Greg Ballard today announced that “Your Life Matters” will transition from the City of Indianapolis to Indiana Black Expo, Inc. (IBE) – a move aimed at providing long-term sustainability for the initiative. “Your Life Matters” launched in March, 2014 to address societal factors that contribute to violence. Since that time, it has become a key component of the City’s public safety plan and the leading local program in response to President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Community Challenge.
Soon after the creation of “Your Life Matters,” Mayor Ballard appointed task force co-chairs Tanya Bell, President and CEO of IBE, and Jamal Smith, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. Following months of intensive work, the task force returned a report containing 48 recommendations in the categories of employment, mentoring, justice and re-entry, education and health. The group focused attention on data and policies that can break down barriers to success for disconnected youth, particularly Black males ages 14 to 24.
“Your Life Matters is a significant piece of our City’s comprehensive public safety strategy, and it is vital that we keep this initiative moving forward – especially for young men between the ages of 14 to 24,” said Mayor Ballard. “Indiana Black Expo is uniquely suited to lead on this issue by convening community partners and building on the momentum we have created together.”
“Indianapolis has a history of successful cross-sector partnerships, and I am confident that we are primed to undertake an even higher level of coordination and cooperation for the future of our young people and this city,” said Bell. “Indiana Black Expo is honored to take on the important work that will accompany full implementation of Your Life Matters.”
The City of Indianapolis will continue to be a lead partner in “Your Life Matters.” The program transition will continue over the course of the next few months, allowing IBE time to phase in all elements of the initiative. At the invitation of the White House, a representative from the City and Bell will attend the “My Brother’s Keeper” Community Challenge National Convening in Washington, D.C. on January 28, 2015 to discuss leading practices for sustainable community initiatives such as “Your Life Matters.”