A fundraising campaign for OPEN DOORS - a project of CTA

It is an honor and a privilege to take on the role of OPEN DOORS Co-Director as we celebrate five years of inspiring action for safer, more just communities.

Back in 2016, after years in and out of jail, in the nursing home and in my wheelchair, I wanted to share my story, but didn’t know how or who would listen. I attended a writing workshop for Black and brown men like me, who had gotten caught up in the street life as kids and after being shot and paralyzed were living at Coler without opportunity to improve our lives or contribute to our communities.

Through OPEN DOORS, we found strength, purpose, belonging and an audience for our message of realness, resilience and healing. We call ourselves the Reality Poets. But poetry was just beginning. 

Today I’ve found my true calling—putting my story into beats and bars and working with kids in the music studio so they can turn to art—not the streets—for validation. 

With your support and solidarity, in the months and years to come, OPEN DOORS will continue to grow as a formidable force in the gun violence prevention and disability justice spaces, and to be recognized for our dope vibes!

Vincent Pierce

OPEN DOORS Co-Director & Reality Poet

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