Katy Gabryelczyk and Sundance Duchow, “Voices of Gun Violence”
Mentor: Erin Parcell, Communication
Voices of Gun Violence (VGV) is an interdisciplinary, community-based project that works to create spaces for people to share their stories of gun violence in southeastern Wisconsin. These stories, in part, create a counter narrative to what is reported in local news and puts a human face these experiences. The process starts with recording storytellers sharing their narratives, which are then transcribed and eventually uploaded onto the VGV website (https://sites.uwm.edu/gunviolenceproject) resulting in in a living archive. VGV has expanded to involving community-based events, too. VGV is in the process of redesigning the website, establishing a social media presence, expanding our project’s outreach to the community, and collecting a wider variety of gun violence stories. VGV brings into bold relief many different ways that individuals experience gun violence including homicide, domestic violence, neighborhood shots, robbery, suicide, bar/club shooting, domestic terrorism, and police brutality. Many of the VGV storytellers have become involved in the Milwaukee community after their experience with gun violence. They have worked to create businesses and provide services, such as grief counseling, community programs, and general activism to contribute to the betterment of Milwaukee communities. To a broader audience, VGV shows the variety of community members who experience gun violence and the many different types of gun violence that can occur. Additionally, VGV provides a platform to share community members’ thoughts and experiences with gun violence in a trusted setting and highlights the local organizations in the community that to work to improve the conditions that contribute to gun violence.