PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With violent crime in Portland on the rise, an area non-profit says its work to help at-risk youth and younger adults is extra vital than ever.
Delight In Unity began in Los Angeles in 2017 and just lately expanded to Portland. The group’s purpose is to lift vanity in children and younger adults and assist them accomplish their objectives.
Founder Damond Collier mentioned so typically, children who develop up in impoverished households have an absence of assets and their difficult circumstances trigger them to surrender on their goals. Collier’s purpose is to assist them reset their ambitions.
“So long as we will get you to imagine in your self, then that’s our purpose,” Collier mentioned.
Delight In Unity focuses on getting children concerned in video and music manufacturing. Nonetheless, organizers of the group work to foster any hobbies or pursuits children have. Collier mentioned they maintain auditions for roles to forged within the movies and even those that don’t make it are supported.
In the event that they aren’t forged as actors and actresses, Collier will discover out what else they’re taken with. In the event that they like vogue, they’ll assist with costumes. In the event that they like music, they’ll work on a soundtrack for the movie. In the event that they like artwork, they’ll create the soundtrack album cowl. In the event that they’re taken with basketball, then Delight In Unity helps that too and can work to get them tickets to Portland Path Blazers video games and set them up with a mentor.
“We don’t need to be the individual that destroys that hope once they had it so excessive. We need to hold them proper the place we hadn’t met them,” Collier mentioned.
Delight In Unity additionally helps children and younger adults set up financial institution accounts and learn to handle their cash. That method, in the event that they go on to make a profession out of movie or music manufacturing, Collier mentioned they’ll be arrange for fulfillment and can have a spot to maintain their incomes.
The group additionally pays individuals for his or her involvement within the movies Delight In Unity produces. Collier mentioned 15% of the proceeds from the movie return to Delight In Unity to assist proceed this system. The opposite 85% is evenly distributed amongst everybody concerned within the challenge.
“They don’t know you can make more cash doing this, what I’m doing, than the stuff that you just’re getting influenced to do on the streets,” Collier mentioned
Delight In Unity’s first movie, “Baby Gangsta,” was launched in 2020. The film focuses on what occurs when gang violence arises in West Los Angeles. Collier mentioned it was an vital challenge for the individuals who produced it, a few of whom are gang members themselves. He mentioned it was an opportunity for them to supply an sincere depiction of what gangs in West Los Angeles are like, whereas additionally permitting them to indicate that the communities aren’t all dangerous.
Collier mentioned members of each the Bloods and Crips gangs labored collectively on the movie.
“Everyone believed in getting this message on the market to say, ‘Hey, although a few us might mess up and this particular person might mess up, there are some good individuals in the neighborhood.’ It’s also one thing that’s by no means actually been proven,” Collier mentioned.
Regina Warren, secretary for Delight In Unity, mentioned Portland is at present experiencing quite a lot of related violence to Los Angeles. The town recently broke its record for the number of homicides dedicated in a yr and has had more than 1,000 shootings in 2021.
Warren lives in Portland and has two teenage sons. Prior to now yr, three of her sons’ classmates have been murdered, she mentioned. As a mom, that makes her very involved.
“If we may give out one other various than a few of the violence that’s happening within the streets, give them one thing else to do, that’s optimistic,” she mentioned.
Delight In Unity’s newest movie, which has the working title “Skookum Woods,” is at present in manufacturing in Portland and the encircling space. Collier mentioned the movie explains what occurred to Native People and African People who have been residing in Oregon within the 1800s and the way their lands have been stolen. It’s a thriller set within the current time with issues from the previous that may come again to hang-out individuals.
Collier remains to be seeking to forged two actors within the movie: a white man between the ages of 35 and 50 and a white boy between the ages of 10 and 13.
Delight In Unity is on the lookout for extra mentors to information younger actors, editors, and video and music producers. It’s additionally a registered 501(c)(3) and Collier mentioned they depend on donations to proceed their work in supporting youth and producing their films.
Anybody taken with auditioning for the roles within the upcoming movie, donating, or getting concerned with Delight In Unity ought to go to its website.