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A Piece of Peace in Indy’s West Side

Posted on Sunday, June 24th, 2012.

This June, the MobileBooth is recording stories in Indianapolis, thanks to local radio station partner WFYI.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth outside of WFYI Studios, Indianapolis, IN

We will be recording voices and stories of various Indianapolis neighborhoods until June 30, 2012. You can make a reservation to record by clicking here and tune in to WFYI 90.1 FM during the summer to hear stories from the Indy community.

Recently, Cameray Boyden, 21, and her mother Cyndi Kay Cannon, 40, came to our MobileBooth for a recording through our partnership with the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center. During their interview, they talked about their neighborhood and one of Cameray’s recent projects, the West Indianapolis Peace Park, a community garden and memorial.

Like her mother, Cameray grew up in a neighborhood known as the West Side. “A lot of drug use and violence and teen pregnancies,” said Cyndi, describing it. “In that type of environment, people from other areas, they look down on you…By the time I was 16 I was pretty much strung out. ”

Cameray Boyden with her mother Cyndi Kay Cannon.

Along with neighborhood volunteers, Cameray has built the West Indianapolis Peace Park to honor people in their community who have lost their lives to drugs and violence. “My best friend Adam, he was murdered at 21…I was so mad…he was trying to change his life,” Cameray explained. “And that’s what I feel like is happening in the neighborhood. People want to change their lives.”

The Peace Park sits in a vacant lot across the street from a playground, near the West Morris Free Methodist Church, in the West Side of Indianapolis. It has a community garden, a colorful mural depicting the neighborhood, and a fountain inscribed with the names of those memorialized. But as Cameray explained during her interview: “The park is so much more beautiful when you have lots of kids in there pulling weeds, taking pictures, throwing up peace signs…[It’s] definitely a bigger idea than the actual garden itself.” For Cameray and Cyndi, “The Peace Park looks like hope.”

The West Indianapolis Peace Park, West Side, Indianapolis, IN

A mural from the Peace Park, Indianapolis, IN

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