Boston’s Teen Empowerment aims to promote peace, curb city violence

BOSTON — For 29 years, Boston’s Teen Empowerment has been on a mission.

“Create equity and justice and really figure out how do we get young people to think of ways that they can mediate, support their friends who are in conflict,” says Abrigal Forrester, executive director of Teen Empowerment.

And their work is more important than ever before.

Their annual Peace Conference and premiere of the film Senseless Smoke is being held as police investigate three shootings in a 24-hour span, last Sunday into Monday night.

Senseless Smoke was created and filmed by young people and directors Sheri and Robert Bridgeman said the weekend shootings are similar to the many teen accounts used in the hour-long piece.

“There was a young lady who actually got murdered from violence who was a basketball player. It hit us really hard that the things that we are writing about are actually happening as we are writing it,” said Robert Bridgeman.

”Working with young people as influencers in their own community. They know the young people that are being lost in the community. They’re connected to them. Some of them are family; their friends,” said Sheri Bridgeman.

The conference uses the film to discuss the issues young people in Boston face, and what we can do about them.

“Conflicts is gonna exist, but instead of us losing two lives, which is the perpetrator and the young person who lose their life to violence or any person, quite frankly in our community; really how do we take ownership of our accountability outside of law enforcement?“ said Forrester.

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