Local Organization, AMP Youth Uses Spoken Word to Tackle Violence

Increase the peace, increase the peace

get it straight, imma do it til the death toll decrease,

imma do it til I see a tombstone that says, violence rest in peace

Agape Media Productions, founded by Aaron Byrd, 25 and Joseph Walters, have made it their mission to combat the violence amongst Chicago teens, by creating an outlet for youth to express themselves through the art of spoken word to embrace positivity. Dressed in anti- violence attire- a white, T-shirt with the words R.I.P. Violence across the front, Aaron Byrd chats with Y.S. Mag about AMP’s mission .

What is R.I.P. Violence.

RIP violence is a campaign…it’s our banner with what we are doing. It’s just something for people to familiarize themselves with the campaign and it’s something that is different from what you see all the time.

AMP Youth Project.

Basically, in an effort to fund raise and create a compilation project with a group of youth, we partner with, through an organization called L.Y.R.I.C. (Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity) against the violence in Chicago. We use media and music to focus on client causes and social initiatives, one of the social initiatives we started with is the violence in Chicago.


The program was started by two mentors Phenom and KLove, and there are two track programs, Treat me like a Queen and Man Up.  Those kids are then allowed to become a part of the performance team L.Y.R.I.C., [where] they are taught the art of spoken word. Those kids are ultimately the [ones] we are working in conjunction with to produce a project against violence and against different issues within  low income, and especially minority, African American communities.

Impacting youth.

You know, I see these youth with incredible talent…maybe we can work with them in conjunction and try to do something about some of this violence, because primarily, youth between the ages of 16- 24 are the victims and recipients of most of the violence. The most powerful influence is music..and hip hop, rap and that’s who they look to. A lot of times they don’t listen to speeches by the president or by people that may want to speak a positive word.

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