‘Do the Write Thing’ Gears Up for Another Summer of Youth Activism

This summer, the Do the Write Thing (DTWT) program will continue its mission of providing youth with cognitive and emotional development through the exploration of issues affecting them and their peers, including mental health, gun violence and police brutality.

DTWT’s two virtual cohorts, hosted in collaboration with the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, will culminate in a student-run virtual town centered on the intra-community violence that, throughout and well before the pandemic, has plagued District communities and claimed many young lives.

“First the youth do the research on the topic, then they have to script the different segments of the town hall: the causes of violence, the effects of guns and violence in our neighborhood, and the solutions to the problem,” said Lolo Smith, co-founder of DTWT, a local nonprofit that has been in existence for more than a decade.

“They have to script all three of those segments,” Smith continued.

“They have to decide who to invite as panelists. The students want some youth leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement, adults [like] the police chief or mayor, and someone from youth-serving agencies.”

In late June, DTWT and several other youth employment partners will host summer job


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