Washington, DC – The Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) today announced the release of “GunzDown DC,” a song that speaks to the fear and frustration many young people in Washington, DC and across the nation experience as a result of gun violence and calls for an end to violent crime. The song is written, produced, and performed entirely by DYRS youth and supports Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Safer, Stronger DC public safety agenda.
“At DYRS, we are engaged in a struggle to grow peace, wellness, opportunity, and productivity in the lives of our youth, families, and communities,” said DYRS Director Clinton Lacey. “GunzDown is a call to action from young people with a clear message: ‘put the guns down, let’s respect one another, and let’s love ourselves, our families, and our community.’ I’m proud of the stance that they are taking, and I pray that we will all listen.”
As the agency responsible for the supervision, custody, and care of young people charged with a delinquent act in the District, DYRS has extensive experience working with DC youth affected by the trauma of gun violence – in many cases, throughout their lives. “GunzDown DC” is informed by the life experience of DYRS youth and their desire to speak out against violent crime and illegal firearms.
The song also complements DYRS’s Credible Messenger Initiative, through which adults with similar life experiences provide mentorship and support to DYRS youth and their families. Credible messengers, whose role is to help youth transform attitudes and behaviors around violence, serve as neighborhood leaders and youth advocates.
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