8-year-old walking for peace in Indianapolis

reese-hamilton

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis boy is sick and tired of violence in his community.

Earlier this year, third-grader Reese Hamilton wrote a letter to the mayor asking for peace. Now he’s taking it a step further.

“My friends Kyla, Jada… we’re all just sick of it,” said Reese.

Dozens of students, teachers and staff from IPS School 60, Hamilton’s school, plan to march for peace tomorrow. They’re joining Reese, who planned the march when he decided you’re never too young to change your community.

Getting his classmates involved was important for Reese because for him and his friends, school is a safe place.

There, the 8-year-old can get lost in the latest harry potter book and celebrate good report cards with friends, but Reese does worry about what he could see when he gets off the bus because the worst-case scenario has happened before.

“That thing happened down there,” said Reese. “My family member died and I was sad.”

The third grader doesn’t want any of his other classmates to come home to crime scene tape.

“People don’t need to die and it’s not worth dying for,” said Reese.

For weeks, he’s been planning his small peace march through his neighborhood. It’s not so small anymore.

“Some of the Colts players are coming,” said Reese.

Other athletes, including Pacers and Fever players, plus city officials and community leaders are also now joining Hamilton.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook, my email stays full,” said India Jefferson, Reese’s mother. “I’m like, ‘Reese, I never thought…’ He was like, ‘I know Mom, I didn’t think we would make it this far.’”

Reese’s mom has been helping him reach out to community leaders to spread the word. They just had no idea how quickly good news travels.

“I’m 41 and I ain’t never talked to the mayor face-to-face, you understand?” laughed India as she realized how much her son has accomplished. “And I ain’t never met a Colts player in 45 years.”

Reese already has his speech written. It explains how important it is for kids like him to feel safe at school, at home and everywhere in between.

And he wants all of us to be there to hear him say it.

“All the rest of the people are sick of the violence and you should be too,” said Reese.

Reese’s peace walk will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, leaving from 30th Street and Gladstone Avenue.

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