Across the country, young people are dying every day from senseless street violence. Many of their stories go untold, as do the solutions that could have saved their lives.
The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising story of three “violence interrupters” in Chicago who, with bravado, humility and even humor, try to protect their communities from the violence they once employed.
This ongoing campaign is bringing the Interrupters’ stories to our homes and communities to spark conversations about violence prevention and to encourage people to take action to pass the Youth PROMISE Act.
What can YOU do to stop the violence? Screen this powerful film in your home, school or community center to gather people to reflect on what can be done, as well as write post-cards and tweet to your Member of Congress to pass the Youth PROMISE Act.Sign up today! If you have any challenges signing up to host below, email us here.
The Interrupters Movie Parties are designed for Peace Alliance Affiliates Only.If it is your Party’s intention to have more than 25 people in attendance, please contact Graham Swindoll at the film’s distributor Cinema Guild – firstname.lastname@example.org
These Movie Parties should be by ‘invite only’ and not be considered ‘Open to the Public’. There should be no additional advertising or promotions for the Movie Parties (i.e. – flyers or webpages)
After your screening, please have your party take time to answer the following questions:
1. How did the film change your perspective on violence in America?
2. Which scene or scenes had the biggest impact on changing your perspective and why?
3. How else do you think this film could be used to help change people’s perspectives on violence?
UNITY Policy Platform: The UNITY Policy Platform describes what needs to be in place on the ground in cities to prevent violence, and delineates the support cities need for their efforts to be successful and sustainable.
UNITY Roadmap: The UNITY RoadMap is a comprehensive resource for cities to prevent violence before it occurs by mapping out solutions to effectively and sustainably prevent violence.
Some movie parties will be small house gatherings with a few people gathered around a TV, other events will be larger gatherings in community theatres. Think through how many people you would like to have at your event, and secure a time and location that works.
Reflect on the goals of the gathering (our team’s goals for the events are educating about the impact of violence in our communities, educating about the effectiveness of youth violence prevention and intervention programs, and raising support for the Youth PROMISE Act). Consider if there are any other goals you or your organization would add to complement the above goals.
Build a team to help you organize--if you can provide others with a chance to share the organizing responsibility it will both strengthen the event as well as provide a learning opportunity for other organizers. If you have a team, decide who will be responsible for what parts of organizing the event: promotion, invitations, printing or finding materials to hand out, handing out postcards and taking part in the twitter action.
Identify Your Member of Congress to Engage for Youth PROMISE Act: Identify your one Member of Congress that you will be engaging through this Youth PROMISE Act action. We are focusing our advocacy on engaging the US House, as the legislation has yet to be re-introduced in the Senate.
Invite friends and family, and people in like-minded organizations to join the event. Consider inviting people focused on youth development, violence prevention and intervention from the community to join you for the film screening.
Thank people for attending and taking the time to learn about youth violence prevention and intervention
Ask people to sign-in to the event: Use our sign-in forms to join The Peace Alliance mailing list and receive more information about opportunities to take action for youth violence prevention and the Youth PROMISE Act
Explain the Youth PROMISE Act: Download the overview of the Youth Promise Act (under Materials and Resources)and use it to explain what the Youth PROMISE Act is, why it is important, and how it connects to the film.
Take a photo of the group: Show everyone’s support by snapping a photo of the attendees with a Youth PROMISE Act sign and tweeting it to your member of Congress. *See #2 in the “Take Action” segment of this document.
Watch the film: Note that the film is 2 hours and 20 minutes; most who see the film appreciate its length as it provides a chance to dive deeply into these complex issues, however others think it makes for a long night. Decide whether you would like to show the entire film or portions of the film if you are under a tighter timeline. We have recommended cuts that limit it to 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you are not able to show the entire length of the film, contact us at email@example.com to receive information about segments you can fast forward through.
After the film ends, ask people to reflect on it together: How did the film impact them? What do they think works to transform violence in our neighborhoods? What can be done to make an impact?
Introduce the Youth PROMISE Act, and ask attendees to sign post-cards to send to their US House Representative in support of the legislation. Download postcard here.
Photograph the Group & Tweet Your Member of Congress:
Take a photo of attendees holding a sign in support of the Youth PROMISE Act, and send the photograph to your House Representative via twitter (see Twitter action in Materials and Resources) with the hashtags #YouthPROMISEAct and #StopTheViolence
Take a photo of attendees at your house party who support the Youth PROMISE Act
Tweet the photo to your Member of Congress by visiting www.Congress.org and typing in your zip code to find out who your Representative is; once you know who your representative is, find their twitter handle by clicking here. Consider using the tweet “[@Enter Congressman’s twitter handlebar here] “Violence is preventable and interuptible. Pls support the #YouthPROMISEAct to #StopTheViolence [attach photo of your group to the tweet]”
Ask attendees to retweet the tweet to their followers, and tweet their own note to the Member of Congress. They could take their own photos if they would like.
When tweeting make sure to use the hashtags #YouthPROMISEAct and #StopTheViolence so that your tweets show in the twitter conversation. You can also tweet directly at @TheInterrupters, @AmeenaMatthews and @CobeWilliams @PeaceAlliance and @YouthPROMISEAct -- all of us are very responsive and love your tweets!
In addition to the group photo, individual attendees might want to tweet their own photo with the Youth PROMISE Act sign to their Member of Congress
Ask for Donations:
If appropriate, ask that if anyone feels moved to make a contribution to The Peace Alliance to carry on our youth violence prevention work, that they fill out a donation form and donate. Feel free to use a portion of the donations to cover the cost of stamps to send in the postcards, and then send the rest of the donations to:
The Peace Alliance
PO Box 27601
Washington DC 20038.
Ask people to stay involved:
If people would like to stay involved, ask if they are interested in:
Arranging a follow-up meeting
Meeting Interrupters in your community and documenting their work through the Faces of Peace project
Meeting with your Member of Congress’ district office
Joining us in Washington, DC this summer to lobby your Member of Congress
And other efforts to support peacebuilding in your community
Postmark and send-in postcards signed at the event to your Member of Congress
Send the Peace Alliance a physical copy of the sign-in form, as well as donations gathered at the event. Our address is PO Box 27601, Washington DC 20038. You can also send us a scanned copy of the sign-in form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know how your event went: We’d love to hear any feedback you have about what people thought of the event, what people learned. You can send us feedback at email@example.com
Post your group’s Youth PROMISE Act support photo on Facebook: Like the Youth PROMISE Action page on Facebook, post your photo of event attendees asking Your Member of Congress to support the Youth PROMISE Act, and share the Youth PROMISE Action page
Take Action after the gathering
Host Another Meeting Or Screening Party: Do attendees want to meet again to plan more activities, or to show the film to more of their friends? Plan another screening to introduce more people to the campaign.
Build Coalitions with the Interrupters in Your Community: Meet those in your community working to prevent youth violence and intervene. Not sure who is doing the work? Google youth violence prevention and intervention in your community, and begin reaching out to people, setting up times to meet.
Tell the Stories of Interrupters in Your Community -- The Faces of Peace Project: Document the stories of Interrupters in your own community through the Faces of Peace project. Working in conjunction with those you meet through coalition building, find two or three people in your community who are doing work like the Interrupters. Record your stories at http://thepeacealliance.org/facesofpeace/
Mother’s Day 2012: Visit your local Congressional Office for the Youth PROMISE Act--Bring Interrupters or Stories Collected: Sit down with a staffer of your Member of Congress to share your stories about how violence is preventable and interruptable, and the importance of your US House Representative supporting the Youth PROMISE Act.
Summer 2012: Join us in Washington to Lobby Your Member of Congress This summer, join us in Washington, DC to walk the halls of Congress and lobby your Member of Congress’ office in support of youth violence prevention and peacebuilding. Dates TBD. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Host a Fundraiser: Expand the scope of The Peace Alliance’s youth violence prevention work and peacebuilding advocacy by bringing people together for a House Party fundraiser.