James Artis III
University of Denver - 2020
Looking at our criminal justice system and how it interacts with the Black community. Seeing how we can better that relationship
Project: With my project I am aiming towards mending the relationship between law enforcement and the black community. Through this African-American male leadership program called Brotherhood I go into schools and help teach young high school students lessons around social justice, identity and the importance of higher education. We also held community forums and local schools that served as open spaces for parents, community members, teacher and students alike to voice their concerns about the issues going on in their neighborhood to police offers, members of city council, the DA’s office etc.
Inspiration: My life changed on June 22, 2010. That was the day Micah, my older brother and male role model, was shot. My Puksta Project is informed entirely by what happened that day and in the days since—that’s why I’m devoting myself to ending violence in neighborhoods and areas where it’s prevalent today… and make it history tomorrow.
In these last 4 years over 500 African-American males have been killed by police and law enforcement. We are often misrepresented in mass media as thugs murderers unintelligent and pathetic. These types of ideals add in to why police perceive us as dangerous. I want to dismantle these type idealistic views.
Future Plans for Project: I hope to open the eyes of Black youth and help them understand their potential and embrace their culture.