Project Jericho: Peace-building with court-involved teens

Springfield, Ohio 2014: "Upward Through the Storm" mural art and poetry project with court-involved young people. Collaboration with Project Jericho.

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photo by Lauren Houser

Project Jericho, an organization that uses the arts to engage court-involved young people in central Ohio, invited me to facilitate the creation of a giant mural that featured the participation of 75 students, including teens recently released from juvenile detention, current inmates, those on probation and also children who are involved in the YMCA, where the mural was painted. The participants used poetry and painting to reflect on violence in their community and the importance of the youth taking a leadership role in the struggle to cultivate a peaceful and positive environment. This project was the culmination of months of workshops in which the Project Jericho teens participated in activities such as dance, drawing, theatre, music and performed at a public event.