Putting children at the center of the place

Our initial plans for our activity was to have our participants categories things that they do like chores, work/school, recreation, health, etc. Then they would re-group these things based on what they do within Hazelwood and things they need to leave their community for. After talking about all of these things, we were then planning to move on to our next part of the activity, creating a new 2nd Ave.

When we were speaking with Lenora, we actually got a bit off track from our initial plan, but we ended up having a really great discussion. She talked about her sons, two of whom are friends with Wiz Khalifa. She said how she proud she is of them and seemed to be sad that one is moving out to LA. Lenora also told us about the trips she plans for her and her friends. They’ve gone to Hawaii, Punta Cana, and this year they’re going to Jamaica. We talked about the places she goes to with her friends to hang out, but she said that her home is where a lot of her friends will get together.

Towards the end of our conversation with Lenora we asked her if there was anything she wanted us to know or if there was anything she really wanted out of the memorial. She then opened up to us about her nephew, who was died at the age of 22. He had been with his girlfriend and her baby when the child’s father arrived at shot him. She then continued to tell us about how many of the victims of gun violence in Hazelwood had children of their own. Some of these kids never got to really know their parents before they died. This memorial could create a new way for children to learn about the parents they lost at such an early age and open up a new dialog for community members.


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