Valdosta youth speaks out against local gun violence through music
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) - A non-profit organization in Valdosta is providing young community members with a YouTube platform to create and showcase art centered on social issues.
E.D.I.T. TV, an acronym for Elevate Dreams with Inspirational Truth, is currently made up of about 20 members, ranging in age from children to young adults.
This “movement for the youth," as they call it, is a judgment-free space for people to express their feelings on pressing topics like bullying, violence, suicide and more through works like music, acting skits and poetry.
And it’s free for anyone to join.
Founder and CEO Lashina Branham says her goal is to teach young people how to heal through powerful messaging.
“I have kids myself, and I just see how the generation is today,” she told WCTV. “They need someone to be able to come to their level because the generation is different from when we were younger. So I just want to be able to speak positivity into the youth. And whatever their dreams are, you know, we just speak life into it and just push them anyway that we can.”
In one of its recent productions, the group paid lyrical tribute to Desiyunna Hill and released a song honoring her on her birthday this year.
At the age of 18, Hill was shot and killed outside the Academy of Excellence on North Lee Street last June.
Police say more than 200 teenagers were attending an event there, when shots were fired into a crowd outside the venue and struck Hill.
For E.D.I.T. TV, young community members recorded the music video in Hill’s memory outside the event center.
“Gun violence is a big issue here,” Branham said. “So now is the right time, you know. We gotta help our kids. These are our future presidents, doctors, lawyers, so. We gotta come together as a community and help these youth to be able to live.”
Valdosta has seen four shootings over the last couple weeks, three of which all claimed the lives of young men.
Branham says an elaborate skit addressing the city’s recent uptick in gun violence is currently in the works.
“I love kids, and if there’s any way that I can poor knowledge or any way that I can help them, that’s my goal,” she said. “I want to make sure every child reaches their full potential in life.”
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