New York Photographer Elias Williams was tasked this summer to capture the creativity and leadership of men who have been harmed by gun violence, and who are all part of the OPEN DOORS arts and justice initiative. He is based at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler, a long-term care facility on Roosevelt Island where many of the members live and work. The members of the group use storytelling, hip-hop, and spoken word to challenge audiences to combat the injustice that breeds violence in New York City neighborhoods.
The members of the organization, some of them known as Reality Poets, return to the neighborhoods where they grew up, inform young people about the rarely considered consequences of gun violence, and encourage them to become positive change makers.
This collaboration, proudly produced and commissioned by United Photo Industries, with support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, has been inspired by the Visible Ink, a writing program for Memorial Sloan Kettering patients, and OPEN DOORS in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals/Coler’s Department of Therapeutic Recreation.