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October 2, 2014

Young Adults Matter

Most recently I have been inspired by the book A Child Shall Lead Them: Martin Luther King Jr., Young People, and the Movement, by Dr. Rufus Burrow.  The book highlights youth and young adult involvement during the civil rights movement and the impact they had in changing their communities and ultimately the nation.  In the book, Dr. Burrow invites us to teach young adults “that they matter, that what happens to them matters, and what they do about it matters.”  This is what Public Allies is all about. 

It is with this thought in mind, that I invite you to meet, our youngest Public Ally, Khira Miller.  Khira was already a young adult leader before coming to Public Allies Indianapolis.  In her application to Public Allies Indianapolis, Khira stated how she saw a lack of service in the community and is committed to doing something about it.  Khira wants to see more young people engaged and making positive impact in the community. Khira stated that, “[s]ome people view community service as an act of kindness, but I view community service as a necessity and a learning experience. By helping others, you help yourself. Community service is an opportunity for growth in every aspect of the word. I serve my community often in order to resolve this issue.”

As the Bikeshare Partnership Development AmeriCorps Public Ally at the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Khira is working to resolve the issues of accessibility and inclusion.  Khira is helping the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (ICT) ensure that their Pacers Bikeshare program is accessible to everyone –specifically the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA) residence along the trail.  Khira is beginning her effort by meeting and survey residence in the IHA housing units.  She will use the survey feedback to determine ways that the Bikeshare program can be improved so that more IHA residents will become members. In addition to the survey, Khira is also researching similar programs in other cities to find out what is working in other communities.  Khira supervisor stated, “Khira is doing a great job of collecting information and preparing ICT, Inc. for program expansion.”

Khira is one of 23 young adults serving in the Indianapolis community as a part of the Public Allies Indianapolis program at the INRC.  These young leaders will inspire many more young leaders in the Indianapolis community to create positive change in their community.  The INRC helps instill in young adults that they matter and gives them the skills to take create change, because what they do about the issues in our community matters.