100 Black Men of Atlanta will present the winners on Feb. 10 of an Art, Poetry, and Essay contest centered on curbing gun violence.  

Students, in grades 8-12 in the Atlanta Public School System, submitted original art pieces and writings themed on ways to resolve conflicts and reduce incidents of gun violence. The winning submissions will also receive a cash prize.  

The winners will be announced Thursday, Feb. 10th from 1:30-3:00 p.m. at B.E.S.T. Academy, 1190 Northwest Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30318.   

The Art, Poetry, and Essay contest is part of an effort launched last year by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, the Anti-Gun Violence Project.

The Anti-Gun Violence Project focuses on creating anti-violence messaging and programs to identify and prevent conflict and violence in the African American community. The project is a relaunch of a successful program put on by 100 Black Men of Atlanta in the 1990s and will pick up where it left off to wage a campaign to reduce gun violence in Atlanta.  

Joshua Byrd, committee chair for the Anti-Gun Violence Committee of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, said the group felt compelled to do something about gun violence.  

“We, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta exist to enhance the lives of African-American youth, especially those who live in the inner-cities, by serving as mentors; providing exposure and opportunities to improve their health and wellness, economic well-being and educational advancement,” Byrd said. “However, none of this will occur if we allow violence — especially gun violence — to spread and fester. The devastating toll that gun violence is taking on our community compels us to act.”   

The Anti-Gun Violence Project received a $15,000 grant from Georgia Power to implement a mentoring program for students. The program will feature different modules that will focus on how to reduce gun violence, create awareness, and offer alternative solutions that students can use for violence prevention. 

Martel Sharpe serves as the Director of Public Relations for The Atlanta Voice. He has been with the organization for three years. Martel began his time with The Atlanta Voice as a freelance writer before...