(WMC-TV) - Violence is a problem plaguing neighborhoods in the Mid-South. Now one local organization is taking a hard look at how media may influence that problem.
This will be a very insightful weekend for the students at the Heal the Hood conference. Not only will they get to experience amazing performing works of art that will target violence and social issues but also how to rise above them.
A celebrity panel will be in attendance to share insight into the world of media, and how much influence it has over children.
"You see right now, if there's nothing to do, and we 're being programmed to do wrong, they're gonna do what they're being programmed to do," said Heal the Hood Founder LaDell Beamon.
Memphis' own Heal the Hood Foundation is teaming up with Walmart and other community sponsors for the Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" conference. They hope to bring awareness to how social media has affected the city
"MLK was assassinated in Memphis 46 years ago, yet we have over 4,000 churches in the top three most violent cities in America," said Natasha Hill, Heal the Hood Foundation.
Kirby High student Nycole Winston believes the conference is a good thing. She believes images on the TV and Internet glorifying the wrong things present a distorted view of right and wrong for children.
"I think it's the media that's one, and they're choosing the wrong role models, wrong people to look up to," said Winston.
By putting the students in front of industry professionals who have real insight into the lives of the stars, Heal the Hood has one goal in mind.
"The industry professionals are telling you that you're being bamboozled, you're being hoodwinked, you're being run amuck, and once they hear it from the professionals themselves their minds, their gears will start rolling. They'll start thinking a little bit different," LaDell.
Heal the Hood runs the Evolution School of the Arts program out of Kirby High, Linear Middle, and Georgian Hills Middle schools.
If you would like to learn more information on how to get your child involved with this group contact (901)-461-3412 or www.hthmemphis.org.