Youth Violence Project

Presentations and Workshops

An Interactive Approach to Youth Violence Education

Our material can be adapted for young people, parents, educators, law enforcement officials, and social services groups. The lengths of our events range from 1 hour to a full day. Due to language and violence, our films are rated PG-13. We feel that our films and workshops are most effective as prevention rather than intervention.

Short Presentations:
Our 1-hour presentation involves a description of our project and clips from our films. Through this presentation, we share our approach to this national problem and encourage the creation of community projects in other cities. This event is targeted to adults who work with at-risk youth.

Screenings:
Our feature dramatic film is 90 minutes long. (For a detailed description of Youth Violence: Inside the Skin, go to "The Films.") Our documentary, Voices of Youth Violence, is not yet released. Clips from this film are currently being used in the half-day and full-day workshops.

Half-Day and Full-Day Workshops (2-6 hours):
For youth and parents, we offer screenings with guided discussion as well as full-day workshops for in-depth personal work. For adults who work in areas related to youth violence, we offer short presentations or half-day workshops.


Half-Day Workshops

Our half-day workshop format includes screening 3 interviews and the 90-minute dramatic film, Youth Violence: Inside the Skin. For youth and parents, this is followed by guided small group discussion designed to help participants identify common themes and relate the film stories to their own lives.

For adults who work in areas related to youth violence, we present the material as an education model, discussing how they may choose to use our project as a resource and/or as a model to create their own project. If a community is interested in creating a similar project, we suggest that workshop participants represent a variety of community groups.




Full-Day Workshops

Full-day workshops offer a multi-level approach to the problem of youth violence through (1) subjective experience, (2) objective analysis, and (3) internalization through reflection and dialogue. Sessions in anger management and networking with local youth support groups are a part of the full-day workshops.

Facilitators provide guidance and educational materials as participants address the three themes: (1) violence begets violence, (2) boredom and addiction, and (3) followers and leaders. These themes are presented through film segments with discussion in breakout groups.

For each module, a theme such as "Followers and Leaders" is presented by the workshop leader. Next a segment of the dramatic film that illustrates this theme is shown. This allows the participants to have the subjective experience of being in the skin of the young people and parents facing the difficult situations. Following this excerpt, a segment of the documentary film is shown, providing analysis and commentary by experts as well as concerned parents and actual young people who have experienced that particular scenario.

After viewing a clip from each film, the audience breaks into small discussion groups to dialogue about the theme of that segment. This process is repeated throughout both films, creating a learning cycle of subjective experience, objective analysis and internalization through reflection and dialog, a technique for maximizing audience engagement.




Creating a Community Project

For Adults Working with At-Risk Youth

The community project for each city will depend on the interests, skills and resources available. Participants may choose to create a mural, film, play, music, or a combination of these things and more. This project will symbolize the community's desire to end youth violence. The objectives of community projects are:

  1. For participants to experience team building in an effort to bridge gaps between parents, youth, schools, law enforcement, and social agencies as they attempt to work together on a group project
  2. To allow an opportunity for tangible expression of anger, fear, frustration, boredom and insecurity through the creation of art work
  3. To create a symbolic artifact which will remain visible in the community as a constant reminder that youth violence is real and a part of communities across the country. It also represents the concern of all of those who have participated in the workshop -- the single greatest weapon against youth violence.

The concept of an arts-related community project has long been a successful exercise in communication among diverse populations. This type of exercise has direct application to youth violence education as a vehicle for self-expression that can lead to increased self-esteem and tension release through the experience of "being heard". Supportive literature includes:




What We Need from Hosting Organizations

We ask that each community we visit make a donation to the Youth Violence Project if possible to help defray travel expenses.

Hosting organizations should provide:




Schedule a Workshop

To schedule the Youth Violence Team for a workshop in your community, email jmack@uab.edu or call June Mack at 205-467-3105.