Student project aims to publish Youngstown kids’ letters to people killed by police officers

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Inspiring Minds students researched victims of social injustice and were asked to put themselves in their position

WKBN

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Inspiring Minds of Youngstown is working on a project with their kids this summer to educate them while letting their voices be heard.

After the death of George Floyd, the organization wanted students to focus on putting themselves in the shoes of those who lost their lives due to social injustice.

“Our students are writing pieces to men or women who were killed in the hands of cops and they’re kind of putting themselves in their position,” said program director Tanisha Wheeler.

She said this project is very important because their organization focuses on inner city students. Ninety-eight percent of Inspiring Minds’ students are African American or Hispanic.

“I don’t want them to ever think it doesn’t affect them,” Wheeler said. “This is the reality. You can literally be doing everything right and still fall victim. So we really wanted to bring it to the forefront and let them know it’s not that far-fetched.”

Each student researched someone they can relate to.

Malachi Childs chose to write about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy from Cleveland who was shot and killed by a police officer outside of a recreation center.

“I think his death inspired people a lot to speak up and protest against Black violence,” Childs said.

He said this project is helping him to learn about things he never knew.

“Learning about what happened and how it happened, because I like to learn about the stuff they don’t tell us in the story.”

These students are writing three days out of the week for 30 minutes. Inspiring Minds’ goal is to publish a 20-minute audiobook available on Amazon.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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