Art Exhibit Featuring Justice-Involved Youth Artists Debuts at Trenton State House

Art Exhibit Featuring Justice-Involved Youth Artists Debuts at Trenton State House

 

WHERE: Reception: Senate Legislative Committee Room 6 in State House Annex, Trenton, NJ

Art Exhibition: Goldfinch Square in State House Annex, Trenton, NJ

 

WHEN: February 20 from 12 to 1:30 PM (Reception with speakers starts at noon.)

 

RSVP: Communications Director Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg at ewgreenberg@njisj.org

 

On February 20 from 12 to 1:30 PM Senator Ronald L. Rice, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and coLAB Arts will host an exhibition of artwork created by New Jersey youth, several of whom have been involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems.

 

The youth artists worked with coLAB Arts, an arts organization based in New Brunswick, over the course of several weeks to create the pieces featured in the exhibit. This event is part of the Institute’s 150 Years is Enough campaign, which seeks to transform the youth justice system by closing youth prisons and investing in a community-based system of care.

 

“Our juvenile justice system is scarred by extreme racial disparities and recidivism,” said Senator Rice. “This exhibition shares the artwork of those who have been incarcerated, enabling all of us to see their talents, stories, and limitless possibilities. We spend about $250,000 to lock up one child for one year. Imagine the opportunities that could be created in a child’s life for $250,000.”

 

The speakers at the reception, located in Senate Legislative Committee Room 6 and beginning at noon, will be:

 

  • Senator Ronald L. Rice
  • Ryan Haygood, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice CEO and President
  • Liz Ryan, Youth First CEO and President
  • Retha Onitiri, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice 150 Years is Enough Campaign Manager
  • John Keller, coLAB Arts Director of Education and Outreach
  • Krystal Seruya, Youth Leadership Training Lead Instructor
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