Trenton’s next generation of law enforcement and Trenton teens came together on Saturday, April 27th  at Sam Naples Senior Center to voice their opinions through a series of sit down discussions captured in the docuseries called, Common Ground. This is part of the Generation Change docuseries focused on positively changing the way we think about the fractured state of cities and provide solutions needed for a better future.  

Youth enjoying a game of basketball at Sam Naples Senior Center in Trenton, NJ. Photo by Margaret Casperson

In attendance for the final day of break out discussions was Mayor Reed Gusciora, who had an opportunity to meet Trenton’s teens and Trenton police officers participating in this groundbreaking project. Mayor Gusciora also sat down for an on camera interview with Emmy winning journalist Alicia Nieves to share his thoughts on working on educational projects like Common Ground that shed light on important topics through film by highlighting positive solutions and initiating new conversations to further mend community and law enforcement relations. 

The film was directed by Joseph A. Halsey, who grew up in Trenton. “I want to give back to the neighborhood in which I grew up in,” said Halsey, Director and co-owner of seven13films. “It was difficult for me when I grew up here and I know how it is for these kids now. One of the ways to change that is through bringing awareness and we look to do that through the Generation Change docuseries.”

For the youths who have been challenged due to negative environmental factors such as abuse, lack of education, poverty, violence and family problems, they now have a platform to share their voices and tell their stories.

“It’s an important project on many levels,” said Lee Kolinsky, writer and co-owner of seven13 Films. “We are not only creating this series, but also hope to achieve a better relationship among those affected by the dangers in the city.”

Along with the docuseries, seven13 films has partnered with the James R. Halsey Foundation to create the Let’s Film Project, which helps youths develop filmmaking skills in order to be better prepared for the job market. Learn more about the JRH Foundation here:

Seven13 films is dedicated to providing social messages that spark conversation through the art of filmmaking. With several years of experience in television and film, seven13 films offers comprehensive media strategies designed to drive education, awareness, community outreach and engagement on important public issues.  Learn more about Seven13 films:

Feature photo by Anthony Stull.

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