Your Life Matters
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History of the Your Life Matters Task Force

In March 2014, Mayor Ballard launched his Your Life Matters initiative. The initiative is focused on making Indy a safer place to live and work by addressing the many societal factors that contribute to violence. Included in the initiative was the call for a bi-partisan task force to provide research on effective models to reduce violence and improve outcomes for Indy youth, particularly among Black males.
In April 2014, Mayor Ballard appointed Tanya Bell, President and CEO of Indiana Black Expo, Inc., and Jamal Smith, Executive Director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, as co-chairs of the task force. The full task force was announced in June. Mayor Ballard charged this group with reviewing data and policies that break down barriers to success for disconnected youth, particularly Black males ages 12 to 24.
Task force and subcommittee members attended community forums to learn about crime prevention strategies and techniques. Subcommittee members utilized survey data to understand demographic information related to crime and societal problems. Their report contains more than 40 recommendations in the categories of employment, mentoring, justice and re-entry, education and health.


Full report and recommendations from the task force

Your Life Matters Task Force Members:

  • Tanya Bell, President and CEO, Indiana Black Expo, Inc.
  • Jamal Smith, Executive Director, Indiana Civil Rights Commission
  • Michelle McKeown, General Counsel, Indiana Charter School Board
  • Greg Taylor, Senator, State of Indiana
  • Michael Huber, President, Indy Chamber
  • Pastor James Jackson, Lead Pastor, Fervent Prayer Church
  • Ontay Johnson, Executive Director, 100 Black Men of Indianapolis
  • Darcey Palmer-Shultz, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana
  • Judge Marilyn Moores, Judge, Marion Superior Court Juvenile Division
  • Steve Quick, President, AFSCME (Local 725)
  • Frankye E. Johnson-Shelby, Administrator, Social Work, Marion County Health   Department; President, Black Social Workers. Central Indiana Chapter
  • Jimmy Brown, President and CEO, HealthNet, Inc.
  • Patricia Roe, Senior Program Officer, USA Funds
  • Martha Lamkin, Retired President and CEO, Lumina Foundation
  • Steve Jefferson, Crimebeat Reporter, WTHR – Channel 13
  • Rafael Sanchez, Consumer Reporter and Investigator, WRTV, Channel 6



3.12.14 Mayor Ballard Joins Community Leaders to Announce "Your Life Matters" Initiative

4.11.14 Mayor Ballard Announces Chairs of Your Life Matters Task Force

6.3.14 Members of Your Life Matters Task Force Announced