“This is Gary,” a series of events designed to honor and raise awareness of the city’s greatness while continuing the process to transform its narrative, officially kicks off Wednesday, June 22nd! Collectively, these activities will capture the energy that will usher Gary into its new season. The events are scheduled to take place at various venues throughout the city from June 22 – 26, 2022. Tickets are still available.
The first of its kind, “This is Gary” is a collaboration between J’s Breakfast Club, owned by Kelly, and her Victory Way project, which is the beautification of the gateway leading into the heart of Gary at 26th and Broadway. This location is also the future site of a newly constructed J’s Breakfast Club in the fall of 2022.
“’This is Gary’ was created to educate, collaborate, motivate, and be the change that many talk about, but few take the steps to do,” said Kelly. “We are carefully curating events to address the community, starting with the uplifting and motivating of our youth, capturing the energy of transforming physical spaces and places, and celebrating these same physical spaces and places connected to the story of our rich heritage. We will conclude with a party on purpose with a purpose and a finale of praise and worship with a Gospel Explosion concert.”
The full line-up of events is as follows:
Youth Empowerment Day – 6.22.2022
Youth Empowerment Day will highlight Gary natives representing various industries and professions alongside local heroes who will motivate youth through sharing their stories of triumph and defying odds to achieve success. Volunteers are currently being recruited and topics identified for the creation of breakout sessions and panel discussions. The day will also include a keynote speaker, who will close out this day of empowerment with a call-to-action for Gary youth.
Be the Change Day – 6.23.2022
On this day, spaces and places throughout the city will not only be cleaned and beautified, but conversations will take place focused on the action of transformation. There will be a competition to raise the excitement around transforming the city fueled by increased participation and recognition. Churches, Greek organizations, School/Alumni clubs, community organizations, block clubs, scouts, motorcycle/car clubs etc. will be encouraged to participate. The kick-off ceremony will take place at 8:00 a.m. at 26th and Broadway.
Heritage Day – 6.24.2022
On Heritage Day, a collection of historical facts matched to physical places will be visited on various routes throughout the city via bus. This “mobile museum tour” will conclude with a collaborative conversation focused on honoring Gary’s past, acknowledging its present, and the ushering in of its new glory.
Vision Ball – 6.25.2022
The Vision Ball is a formal affair preceded by the Trailblazer Impact Award Reception honoring Gary natives nominated by the community. The goal of the affair is to engage, celebrate and set an active movement towards embracing the transformation of the city. To begin the nomination process, send an email of interest to [email protected].
Gospel Explosion Concert – 6.26.2022
“This is Gary” will culminate with a Gospel Explosion Concert. The event features the forming of a Gary Mass choir made up of voices across the city. The goal is to develop one song to culminate togetherness and moving forward as a city.
“I am calling on our community to embrace the vision to transform the current narrative of our city,” said Kelly. “This transformation involves the whole village, and the reward will be great.Together, we can produce and showcase what’s good while working towards being the change.”