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New Virtual Exhibit Highlights The Lives Of City Heights Youth

The entrance to a virtual exhibit by young City Heights photographers set to ...

Credit: City Heights Youth For Change

Above: The entrance to a virtual exhibit by young City Heights photographers set to open on November 12th, 2020.

A survey of the needs of City Heights youth has been turned into a virtual photography exhibition opening on Thursday night.

The group Youth For Change began surveying City Heights youth in 2016 after young people in the community signaled they weren’t being listened to by community leaders. That survey found common ground among youth on the need for changes in law enforcement, street safety, cleanliness and educational opportunities.

Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

Now, a virtual exhibition by young photographers influenced by the survey will finally open, after a physical exhibition was postponed in late March, just as the pandemic was taking hold.

"They have something to say and they need somebody to listen to what they have to say,” said Famo Musa, one of the organizers of City Heights Youth for Change and an assistant teacher at the AjA Project, a youth photography organization and partner on the exhibition.

Musa says the virtual exhibition is an opportunity for the community to see through the eyes of young people, who are hurting during the pandemic, but have receded from public view with schools and campuses closed.

RELATED: Youth Survey Shows Perception Of Safety, Police And Educators

“Since everything is online and virtual and more people are open to it, it’s more public, people can’t ignore it anymore basically,” she said. “Now they’re in your face, you kind of have to listen to them.”

The exhibition, which was made by teenagers in the group, will be accompanied by a puppet show from younger kids, also focusing on the same issues.

Musa thinks young people, especially now that many are stuck at home, are becoming more interested in local politics and their community.

“I wish I was 18 at this time right now, because now they have more confidence to speak out and speak their mind and they’re not just children anymore. They’re growing within the society,” she said.

The puppetry, virtual exhibition and a panel discussion go live tomorrow. You can attend all three by clicking here at 5 p.m. Thursday.

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Photo of Max Rivlin-Nadler

Max Rivlin-Nadler
Speak City Heights Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover City Heights, a neighborhood at the intersection of immigration, gentrification, and neighborhood-led health care initiatives. I'm interested in how this unique neighborhood deals with economic inequality during an unprecedented global health crisis.

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