Bout Mine I Matter helps Philly’s youth process their grief through a filmmaking program that integrates behavioral counseling and de-escalation techniques.

ver the last few years, as Philadelphians endured an increase in gun violence, Shameka Sawyer was contending with a loss of her own. Philly’s crisis claimed her younger brother Allen Taylor, a.k.a. Tanch, in 2020, just one week before his 35th birthday. So she took matters into her own hands, and set out to create an arts-centered program designed to deter the city’s youth from picking up guns.

“I felt like I had to do something. I also felt [like] the city, and the residents here in our communities needed to do something of their own,” said Sawyer, an award-winning film director. “I just took what I knew how to do, which is video production, and created a program that would teach kids that are directly impacted by gun violence how to use this visual freetime as a method to talk about what they’re going through. But then also to learn how to cope.”

Source: Gun Violence Has Shaped Their Lives. These Philly Teens Made a Documentary Series About It.

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