STOP the violence! Inner city teens hope to create change by sharing their reality

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Teens who live in Milwaukee's inner city have created a documentary showing their reality. It's a film intended to create change and take a stand against violence. The goal is to empower young people...by sharing their stories.

The documentary premiered on Tuesday evening, June 3rd at the Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee's East Side -- in front of a sold-out crowd.

More than 1,000 people watched the film that features stories of teens who live with violence every day.

"I've seen gunshots, drug abuse, drug trafficking. I've seen fights -- daily fights," 15-year-old Gerron Moss says in the film.

"We're killing each other," 16-year-old Chanel Jackson says in the film.

The film, called "Can You Hear Us Now" is a documentary about Milwaukee's violence -- created by the youth who see it every day.

"Young kids shouldn't have to worry about getting caught in the crossfire," Moss said.

On Tuesday evening, kids from two area Boys & Girls Clubs drove up in a limousine -- ready to watch the film that has been a year in the making.

"We want the community to hear our youth, hear what they see, how feel, because they matter," Teen Program Coordinator Janay McClain-Kelly said.

The program is part film-making -- part worship, and allows the teens to open up about violence that impacts them on a daily basis.

"They have really grown. They are our leaders," McClain-Kelly said.

They're leaders, who say they're tired of the violence.

"The message is to stop! In bold letters -- STOP!" Jackson said.

These young people say they're hopeful that through them, change will come.

"Violence is not needed," Moss said.

This is an ongoing project.

Next year, a new project will use photography and poetry to inspire change.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the "Can You Hear Us Now" documentary.

3 comments

  • cynic

    They can weep all they want. Barrett, Chisholm, and Kremers aren’t listening. The very people they tell stories about will be back creating more stories in no time. Milwaukee looks more and more like Chicago and Detroit every day.

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