The goal of the National Youth Art Movement (NYAM) is to provide youth all across America in neighborhoods besieged by gun violence with an opportunity to make their mark on the issue by using their city as a blank canvas to communicate to the entire community the impact on their lives.
Black boys and young, black men are the greatest victims of gun violence. Yet -- much of the news coverage on shootings focuses on the the act of violence itself. So we know how many people were shot (3,550 in Chicago in 2016), but unless one of the victims was a family member or a friend, we have no idea what their lives have been like after surviving their physical wounds.
The psychological wounds of trauma -- a psychological condition that makes mentally coping with life difficult -- are the hardest to heal, especially when you don't realize its affect on your thoughts and behavior.
Unrealized trauma can add dark shadows to dreams four future — making us doubt the potential for positive possibilities, especially when, as Max Sansing, south side artist and muralist, observes, the death of friends and neighbors "comes to feel regular.”