I AM HERE, a communal space of expression on gun violence, opens June 28-30th
Over the course of 2019, the Gun Violence Archive counts 156 mass shootings in the U.S.
Amnesty International estimates that more than 500 people die every day from gun violence around the world with 1.4 million firearm-related deaths globally recorded between 2012-2016.
The experiences of gun violence are not only widespread but also hit very close to home. Recent incidents in Richmond, Chicago, Virginia Beach, and Los Angeles are representative of how gun violence is rising rapidly across the country in cities, counties and towns alike.
Next month Initiatives of Change USA alumni will lead the 3rd annual Towards an Inclusive Peace (TIP) as part of the Caux Forum in Switzerland from July 8 -12, 2019. This conference makes a case for prevention of violent extremism: we save lives by learning how to respond creatively and non-violently to conflict and crisis. Since June is Gun Violence Awareness Month, we lead up to TIP by partnering with Scott Elmquist (photojournalist for Style Weekly) to unveil I AM HERE, a series of photographs - spanning twenty years - of families and communities in Richmond who have been detrimentally affected by gun violence. Allan-Charles Chipman (Faith Rooted Organizer & Transformation Strategist with IofC USA) also shares a sound installation, Current Events, exploring the perpetual cycles of historical violence that has endured generations.
I AM HERE is a call and response. It is a recognition of the value of each human life; a declaration of undying love to those lives taken by gun violence; and a commitment to remember their legacies by creating spaces of nonviolence, compassion, and belonging for the living.
Join us during I AM HERE:
June 28 – 30, 2019
3108 Semmes Avenue Richmond, VA 23225
(parking is available in the lot behind the building)
Individual and community expressions are a core part of the healing process.
Therefore, we invite creative community participation in this exhibition.
· Bring your own memorial objects (photos, t-shirts, hats, messages, etc.) to add to our Shrine for
· Record your stories and reflections in our AirStream portal that will podcast following the
· Take part in Saturday’s Open Mic and share poetry, music, dance, and stories.
FRIDAY, JUNE 28th
Exhibition opens, panel & mixer: 6 – 8pm
Doors open at 5:30pm
Panel participants include: Sgt. Carl Adams (Carol Adams Foundation); Rev. Robert Winfree (New Life Deliverance Tabernacle); Kristy Burrus (Krissia Ansara Foundation; Richmond Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children); Mark Whitfield; and Scott Elmquist.
SATURDAY, JUNE 29th
Exhibition: 11am – 9pm
Live performances: 4 – 7pm
Drums No Guns healing circle
SUNDAY, JUNE 30th
Exhibition: 12noon – 7pm