Launched in 2016, the National Youth Art Movement Against Gun Violence's mission has the twin-focus of raising all youth across America to the position of thought leaders and conflict disruptors in gun reform by giving them the opportunity to use their intrinsic talents and training in conflict resolution and media development to transform community spaces into grassroots, counter narratives while simultaneously serving as a vehicle to motivate more people to disrupt thinking and systems that engender violence.
The NYAM project has two major goals:
1) Raise youth to the position of leaders on the issue of gun violence by giving them the opportunity to use their talent to transform community spaces into grassroots, counter narratives.
2) Reshape people's relationship to their city, their neighbors, and the youth using tech-enabled art and activism as catalysts for civic engagement and empowerment.
Below are select highlights of NYAM's accomplishments over the years.
Overview of Our Process
NYAM's out-of school-time work with youth in cities is implemented in four stages:
Stage 1: The Call for Art, developed by certified art and expressive arts therapists, is sent to teachers, mentors, or advisors who work with youth ages 12-to-25. It instructs adult facilitators on how to lead students to reflect on and unpack the deeply layered ways in which gun violence, either experienced or perceived through a sense of fear or worry, affects these students' lives or those of family and friends.
Stage 2: The artwork is then submitted for consideration to be included in NYAM's citywide billboard art tour. The youth selected participate in months of education workshops.
Stage 3: From the workshops, NYAM Youth develop art, Augmented Reality interactions, and lead community dialogue events as a part of citywide community-activated, multimedia campaigns for gun violence prevention.
Stage 4: NYAM Youth support and mentor their peers in developing and implementing this program in local schools and in across US cities.