D.C. program teaching filmmaking to combat gun violence

Washington D.C. had close to 200 homicides in 2020 that were linked to gun violence and one native is doing his part to change that. 

Comedian Rodney “Red” Grant founded Don’t Shoot Guns, Shoot Cameras. The organization’s mission is “to develop the social and emotional skills of Washington D.C.’s underserved youth by introducing them to the fundamentals of filmmaking, equipping them with a healthy and creative way to express themselves and positively impact their communities.”

The program introduces students between the ages of 12 and 17 to the fundamentals of film making while teaching social and emotional learning principles, including self-awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. 

Grant joined Start Your Day with Sharon Reed and Mike Hill to discuss the program.

He got the idea back in 1998, but he did not have an opportunity to bring it to life, he said. After seeing a spike in gun violence in Washington D.C., he decided that the summer of 2020 was the right time to officially launch the program. 

The issue is personal to Grant, who lost a nephew to gun violence. 

He said the participants’ enthusiasm has been great and the program encourages them to embrace their creativity. 

Don’t Shoot Guns, Shoot Cameras has support from former Obama Administration staffer Yasmin Salina, NBA champion Matt Barnes and actor Anwan “Big G” Glover. 

For more information about the program requirements and curriculum, click here

RELATED: House passes bills to expand background checks, close ‘Charleston loophole, in gun purchases 

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