On Monday, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center hosted over a dozen young people, eager to spend their summer painting a mural denouncing gun violence in their community. The students heard from community residents whose family members had been victims of gun violence, and learned how devastating the experience is. Debbie Griffin-Daza recounted how her cousin was shot and killed in Crown Heights. Robin Lyde told the young people how her son was killed and how her life was changed and turned upside down . This type of violence continues in the community. Only two weeks ago, Jeramie Kane, a Correction Officer was killed on Nostrand Avenue. Numerous organizations including Groundswell Community Mural Project, American Friends Service Committee, the Damon S. Allen Foundation, and Assemblyman Karim Camara are coordinating to make this project a reality.
During this meeting, in addition to talking to family members of gun violence victims, the young people met with the lead artist, Joe Matunis, and Assistant Artist, Crystal Bruno, and began brainstorming ideas for the mural. Jason Scott Jones, an independent Videographer, is also filming the project.