Fighting Poverty with Passion
The Juvenile In Justice exhibit is finally up and running! After months of coordinating logistics, soliciting and organizing partner organizations, and getting the word out to the public and the media, it is finally a reality.
One of my favorite moments in this process was seeing the exhibit up for the first time. Although I’ve seen many of the photos online before, it was a completely different experience seeing them in person. The silence in them, the isolation is palpable. It is hard to sit with them, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so alone, before the buzz of opening night and all of the events.
On October 22, we held an opening reception for our partners and other supporters. Despite the last minute snags that always seem to happen, the event ran very smoothly and was well-attended. It was a joy to meet many of the partners I had been corresponding with over email and phone, and hear their reactions to seeing the exhibit for the first time. A special thank you to my VISTA volunteers: Januzzi, Dana, Viviane, and Emily. You were incredible!
Since the opening, we’ve had several partner events. The Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies at UNO has been working with high school art classes to create art responding to the question “What would a world without prisons look like?”, much of which is included in the exhibit. On the 29th high school, undergraduate, and graduate students did a walk-through of the exhibit before attending a panel discussion on art and activism.
We also hosted an event organized by the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Xavier University. It was a night of reflection on juvenile justice that preceded their symposium on the Black Lives Matter movement. Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children also held an event celebrating their 15 year anniversary. More great events are coming up before we close out the show on November 20th!
Other work continues, including getting our Louisiana and New Orleans youth justice coalitions off the ground; working on our end-of-year fundraising, including a crowdfunding campaign and annual appeal letter; and, as always, editing, editing, editing. I’m looking forward to new projects once the exhibit comes to an end.