Saint Louis Story Stitchers youth hosted a second video taped discussion on November 10th at Kranzberg Arts Center’s Black Box Theater to reopen topics explored in last year’s discussion. Stitchers Teen Council Co-Chairs Aniya and Toryon, both seniors in high school, skillfully led guest high school youth from the city and north county, many of whom have personally been affected by gun violence, in a closed-set, video-taped discussion on gun violence prevention and police/teen relations.
Teenagers, police and leaders including Rachel Smith, Chief Prosecutor in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, Lieutenant Colonel Ronnie L. Robinson, Deputy Chief of Police of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Commander at the Bureau of Community Affairs, Lieutenant Perri Johnson, Commander Juvenile Division of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Kristen Mueller, M.D., Emergency Medicine Physician at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Mary M. McKay, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis searched for solutions to relevant topics including ways to curb youth gun crime, best practices for police-minority youth interaction, and ending the no snitching phenomenon.
The video was shot in part by Story Stitchers Artists in Residence Jun Bae and Jarmel Reese with video editing completed by Jarmel Reese. Christian Korta, a graduate architecture student at Washington University doing an independent study at Story Stitchers, served as photographer. Stitchers Teen Council’s “T&T” star in the music video for the new song, They Think It’s OK! counseling peers and younger kids on the dangers of guns. The music video was filmed on location in St. Louis and edited by Story Stitchers Artists in Residence Jarmel Reece. Youth worked with Artist in Residence K.P. Dennis to write and produce the song. They Think It’s OK! by Stitchers Teen Council is available in iTunes under the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective label. Check it out at the Stitchers STORE.
Special thanks to program sponsors — the Regional Arts Commission, Kranzberg Arts Foundation, Kranzberg Arts Center, the Institute for Public Health’s Gun Violence Initiative at Washington University in St. Louis, the Steward Family Foundation, the Yvette and John Dubinsky Family Foundation, and Risa Zwerling and Mark S. Wrighton, Ph.D.
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