‘Day of Action’ rally draws young Hoosiers to Indiana Statehouse

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Voters line up to cast their ballots early voting at the City-County building in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020.

Indianapolis Star

More than 100 people gathered at the Indiana Statehouse on Saturday for an event intended to empower young Hoosiers and improve voter turnout.

The hourslong demonstration, “Crossroads of Democracy: Day of Action,” was designed to appeal to young people who might not realize they have a political voice, one organizer said.

“Today is just a day of inclusion and coming together for change and for democracy,” said Taylor Hall, the 20-year-old founder of Artivism, one of the groups that sponsored the event. “After working with kids, I realized they didn’t have a real place in this movement. I wanted them to have a chance to come out and see what it’s like to be at a rally or protest and still be safe.”

Other groups involved include Indiana Nasty Women, Indiana Black Legislative Caucus PAC, and the Alliance for Northeast Unification.

Artivism is Hall’s movement to show kids in Indianapolis how to use art — whether it be painting, poetry, music, or any other medium — as a platform for activism. She said she hoped Saturday’s event would inspire the city’s young people to become leaders in their community. 

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Taylor Hall, an “artivist,” speaks during the “Crossroads of Democracy: Day of Action” event at the Indiana Statehouse, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The event aims to empower young activists fighting for equity, equality, social and economic justice, and generational change in politics. Artivism, Indiana Nasty Women, and Indiana Black Legislative Caucus are hosting the event. (Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar)

“My goal is to inspire activism through art,” she said, “and use different mediums of art as emotional outlets for students.”

Gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers, candidate for attorney general Jonathan Weinzapfel, U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, and candidate for Indiana state Senate District 32 Belinda Drake, all of them Democrats, attended and spoke at the event. 

School board candidates, young climate change activists, members of the Black Legislative Caucus, and other community leaders spoke before marching to the City County Building.

Amid speeches were breaks for people to visit sign-making booths, listen to music and get food from local food trucks. 

“Events like this speak to our future,” Drake said. “It gives us hope. It gives people something to believe in, and it shows that this is what not only Indiana looks like, but this is what America looks like.”

“We need everyone to stand for love,” she continued. “We need everyone to stand for women’s rights. We need everyone to understand and stand for the Black lives in their community.”

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