HomeFeatureSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Brikayla Hardy, Creator of ‘Blanket of Souls – Friends Against Violence Project’ admin Monday, May 12, 2014 Feature, The Connect, The Vault Violence is everywhere and there is no doubt that something must be done to help decrease it. Indiana resident and recent graduate of Indiana University South Bend (#IUSB), Brikayla Hardy joined forces with over a dozen others in order to help decrease the violence. Beginning within her own city, Hardy created a project. The Blanket of Souls Project is an anti-violence project I created where messages and dedications to those who have been a victim of violence or suicide in our community, as well as internationally are submitted by members of the community and reviewed by myself and a few others. The title (Blanket of Souls) represents the acknowledgment of people whose lives has been taken or affected by violence or suicide. This not only show these victims that someone cares for them and their pain, but it’s also showing them that they aren’t alone and they have a entire team of people standing behind them during this time in their lives. Hardy is now accepting messages of positivity from the community. These messages will later transfer onto a blanket which will be posted at a location in South Bend for the public to see. She has hopes of leaving it hanging, so the community can have a chance to see it and grasp the idea of what she’s trying to promote. When asked why she decided to take a stand, Hardy said the following: The increase in violence really made me push for this project to be presented sooner than what I’d initially worked for. Violence is everywhere and that’s so unfortunate, but the number of victims in the city of South Bend/Mishawka is disappointing. People made statuses on social networks and made statements about violence needing to stop, but very few people take action. I decided to take action…hopefully set the example. Hardy, like many others, has always been against violent acts. Violence has always been something I’ve focused on. I received my B.A. in Criminal Justice and I want to find ways to bring-forth awareness about crime and communities. This isn’t Hardy’s first time going up against violence. During her senior year at IUSB, she held an event called ‘Chalk for Peace’ on the campus. People from the university and community came out to write peaceful sayings and draw peaceful images on the sidewalks with chalk. There were several young men and women (herself included) delivering messages against violence to the public. Hardy and all those involved wants people to know that everyone has a purpose in life that doesn’t include death. They want people to notice how many people are affected because of these senseless acts of violence. Although, she doesn’t know exactly where The Blanket for Souls Project will be after the hanging of the blanket, she does have hopes that the right people with leadership abilities and good intentions will lend a hand in this project. What all of the individuals involved in this project really want is peace, not only in their city and state, but worldwide. If you would like to nominate or send a story in about a college student who’s making a difference or excelling in school, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.