The True Reasons I Grabbed the Gun Evolved from Risks (T.R.I.G.G.E.R) Project aims to denormalize and destigmatize gun violence in communities of color across
We focus on changing the norm and narrative of gun violence in communities of color by authentically providing safe (physically + emotionally) space for youth survivors and through telling the untold stories of everyday gun violence users to all walks of life.
Our intent is to build awareness and compassion for people who feel invisible
without the gun.
Both our nation and our community have accepted gun violence in communities of color as the standard way of life, yet, through understanding the everyday shooter's reality we can greatly reduce the number of homicides in the most affected population
in the world.
We all have a T.R.I.G.G.E.R. finger. Thus, we all should be on the side of ending gun violence efficiently and empathetically for those raised in a village of violence. Our dynamic team of advocates, survivors, shooters, volunteers and youth are all committed to helping bring awareness and transformation to everyday
With purpose and precision, we aim to reduce the number of total intentional interpersonal homicides to ZERO in communities of color by year 2100.
We are all guilty of viewing shooter as the only killer. We pull their trigger with them if we do not begin asking ourselves why is the trigger pulled so often in communities of color. From heartache to heart work, help us properly identify and convey the root causes of urban gun violence here.
Hundreds of murders effect the creative directors of this project. More deeply, exposure to gun violence is heart-breakingly routine for children within disadvantaged communities of color in major cities like Washington, DC, St. Louis, MO, Milwaukee, WI, and Baltimore, MD. Our team has a history of loving youth and are taking ownership of their fate. Seeing a need for an innovative, subjective approach to ending gun violence, The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project brings forth the voice and vantage point of the people closet to the every act of violence. The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project, inspired by true stories, will give the audience an inside view of the many lives grappling gun violence daily by characterizing the immeasurable pain and adversity that leads to
using gun violence. Deep pain requires deep healing. Healing can only begin with true acknowledgement of the causes.
Tia Bell became familiar with the struggles of at-risk youth early in life as the oldest child of an adolescent mother in Washington, D.C. Overpowered by crime, defeat, and disadvantage, 7 out of 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) were lived before the age of 10 years old. By the age of 17, gun violence caused dozens of loved ones pain or silence including her mother, who is a survivor, and her late uncle. In Tia's determination to find significance in life's pain she found peace on the court winning Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while attending HD Woodson Senior High School she earned her an invitation to serve as a scholastic member of the Wolfpack Women's Basketball Club.
In 2011, Tia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management from NC State University. Following multiple acute knee injuries which ended her basketball career, Tia was afforded the opportunity to become the first in her family to complete high school, college and now pursue a Master’s degree. It was during this difficult shift that she discovered herself and her calling to serve and support the young. Tia has gained meaningful experience in undergraduate admissions, college access, school counseling, coaching, and gun violence prevention. As the Founder of FOuR, LLC and The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project, today she lives to prevent gun violence through the intersection of positive youth development, public health, cultural responsiveness. In this light, youth are positioned to create and design solutions of holistic healing for the youth, from the youth and
STOP the spread of the disease of gun violence.
We value youth voice and understand that by including them in every step leads to a greater sense of belonging and engagement.
The final production will be for students and by students. The first initiative is to produce a project communicating the
point of view of the shooter. Through this lens,
creators and viewers aging from 12-25 years
old can discover that gun violence
can be ended within.
Creating a project for action
requires uncovering real stories. Contact us to organize a focus group with youth or volunteers here. Expect to participate in interviews, story telling, script writing, art therapy,
and solution-based think tanks.
The second approach is The
True Reasons I Grabbed the Gun Evolved from Risks, produced by Straight to the Point Media, tells a story often overlooked from the shooter's point of view.
Although death by firearms
in America is a public health crisis,
we believe that our country is in
a fixed state of acceptance of gun violence in urban cities. Legislators and
community members accept
gun violence as a
societal norm for
people of disadvantaged communities.
Learn why the gun gives
an invisible soul an invincible feeling.
There are many steps community partners, families, and others can take to positively impact youth both before and after they have come into contact with the gun. Our extended program model serves as our third phase of the project where created spaces
for students to explore their interests, grow
their knowledge, and build their network in gun violence prevention becomes reality. Educators will not want to miss the chance
at a private screening of the
that connects activists with educators to create greater knowledge about the
conditions (and negligence) that lead to
social, emotional, academic, and
physical well-being for
young people who are
most impacted by gun violence.
Because policy goes into effect in a system that is already flawed. At some point, we must no longer blame the shooters but blame the judicial system. We must move to collaborating with people outside of communities of color for resources and look to build the emotional and personal capacities of the people effected by gun violence everyday.
Our A.I.M. (Advocating and Intervening through Mentorship) Youth Gun Violence Prevention program design is our fourth and most sustainable approach. This initiative will activate and groom innovation and build advocacy skills within our youth. Through internships, externships, shadowing, and community service students will be exposed to and gain experience in their respective gun violence prevention field of interest. A Youth Advisory Board will also develop under this approach.
Your generous support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve execution in tackling root causes of gun violence. Stop ONE shooting and save TWO lives.
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The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project and over 50 community-based organizations and stakeholders in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas gathered for the first of its kind End Gun Violence Citywide Conference in June of 2021 to assess the public health crisis and co-create a citywide community peace plan.
Featured clip is from the Voices of Gun Violence segment of the conference. Speaker: Chris “Fresh” Edge, Artist, Survivor, TRIGGER Ambassador. Register here for the 2nd Annual Conference!