Peace by Piece Slide Show

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sampson Park Turnt Up Reflection- Briana

(Youth writing ideas to create their "dream school.")

We held a youth event called Sampson Park Turnt Up: True, Uplifting, Real Neighborhoods with Talent Using Positivity on Saturday April 27, 2013 from 1-4pm. The “Turnt up” event was created to teach and inform youth while allowing space for self-expression in a peaceful way. The themes for our event were local stop-n-frisk policies and school closures. We chose these themes because they were making national news. However, the news reports were only talking about what was happening in New York and Chicago but these two topics have been a huge problem here in New Orleans for a long time. The New Orleans Police Department ( N.O.P.D)  has been using  stop-n-frisk policies on youth in the city daily and local youth didn’t even know that it was a law. I’m still trying to find out if it’s an active law here. We addressed the topic of school closures because they have been closing schools down like crazy here from 2006 until now, yet the closes we have gotten to national news coverage has been Oprah’s show about John Mac.
During the event I was responsible for making sure that the youth understood how the two topics were connected and how they deeply impacted the black community. I created a game called “The Change Starts Now” to show how the schools and the jails are the same but also let youth know that they have the power to change that. I also wrote a speech about the school to prison pipeline which is the pathway from the school system to jail. My speech brought out the real truth about the government and their plans to make money off the black community in new ways. 
This event was one of the smallest we had because it was also the first weekend of Jazz Fest, an international New Orleans music festival,  but we made the best of it. Peace by Piece worked great as a team. Everyone did a great job stepping up when needed and did their activities with good results. I liked the fact that my big brother Justice came to perform his “Better Tomorrow” song, right after leaving from performing at “Jazz Fest”. The kids were responding to him by saying the words along with him and this made the day even better.

Shout out to DJ Act Right! He kept us in a good mood with the music flow. I danced all day long.  The best part of the day was the “Man Overboard”game and “the 3 legged race.” It was nice to see the different aged kids interacting with each other in a peaceful and fun way.  They didn’t know it but they were learning to use team work to win so that they could see that there is power in numbers. This helped them see that if they used team/community work to reach their goals then they could change the way things were in their community. The thought of this new change coming just makes me smile from ear to ear. I know that there is still work to do but we are one step closer.  
Briana O’Neal




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