DISARM THE HATE! Youth and Gun Violence
A Workshop In Civic Engagement

In partnership with Gays Against Guns this day-long interactive workshop for 50 to 70 students in grades 9 to 12 will introduce youth to local resources and strategies that address the epidemic of gun violence through arts-based actions and to ways to advocate for gun laws that lead to safer communities. A morning plenary will present an overview of how gun violence affects our communities, personal testimony from a victim of gun violence, and creative strategies to confront it. In the afternoon students will meet in small groups to create strategies and actions to reduce the epidemic of gun violence. Presenters include Sonni Mun, M.D., Jay W. Walker, Virginia Vitzthum and Antonius Wiriadjaja. Students will be provided with a healthy morning snack and lunch.

WHEN:  Thurs Oct 24 & Thurs Nov 7, 2024, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

320 W. 37th Street, New York, NY 10018

TO REGISTER: contact Robert Croonquist

FEE: $5.00 per student

COVID PROTOCOLS: People’s Forum no longer requires proof of vaccination or rapid home test.

Sonni Mun, MD, (She, Her) has served as a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and former Chief of Medical Services for the Palliative Care Service at Mount Sinai Hospital. She transitioned from clinical care to health tech when she came to Quality Reviews, where she is Vice President of Client Success. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Sonni felt called to put her white coat back on and assist on the frontlines. At the height of New York City’s devastating first wave of COVID-19, Sonni treated patients as a volunteer physician at Mount Sinai Queens.

Jay W. Walker (He, Him) has been involved in activism surrounding LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS issues for over 20 years.In 1998, he helped form the October 19th Coalition which used direct action activism to raise awareness of hate crimes targeting LGBTQ communities. He also volunteered with GMHC’s NY Citizens AIDS Network legislative public policy initiative. A founding member of Gays Against Guns and Rise and Resist, and a co-founder of the Reclaim Pride Coalition and The Queer Liberation March, Jay has conceived, produced and co-produced numerous fundraising events, public awareness campaigns, rallies, marches, and direct action protests focusing on hate crimes, Gun Violence Prevention, HIV/AIDS, Anti-fascism, and to protecting and restoring our democracy.

Virginia Vitzthum (She, Her) is a writer, editor, and activist. She has written two books and contributed to several others, including Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. She has also written plays, screenplays, and many articles, which were published in, among other places, Ms., Village Voice, Elle, Alternet and, where she was a columnist. From 2008 to 2021, she edited the magazine Represent: The Voice of Youth in Foster Care, where she helped teen and young adult writers share their stories in order to help their peers and adults working in the foster care system. Since 2016, she has worked with Gays Against Guns to advocate for sensible gun reform legislation and with Rise and Resist to “oppose any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties…. with all the joy we can muster.”

Antonius Oki Wiriadjaja (He, Him) is a multimedia artist based in New York City. He is a former Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Indonesia and currently teaches at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. He created the Instagram account @foodmasku — featuring ninety days of face masks made from meals cooked during COVID-19 self-isolation — after seeing a fellow artist wear a pickle face filter during a zoom meeting. In response, he placed kale on his face and started posting a food face-mask selfie daily. The project was selected by The New York Times as one of “five art accounts to follow on Instagram now.” During the summer of 2013, Antonius, 30, was on his way to the subway near his apartment in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. A stranger, aiming for a nearby woman, shot at him from a passing car.