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When Children Speak Out: Lost Friends
By: Emory Brown
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A voice is something everyone should have. It’s a place to showcase our feelings and share our opinions; a venue in which ears are active and awaiting our message. As marketing professionals, we always talk about brand voice. We are eager to listen to what the brand has to say. As marketers, are always welcoming the voices in our communities or those that surround it.
The other evening, I went to a premiere of a documentary called Lost Friends, created by youth of Chicago who have experienced the devastation and loss that is are companions of violence. Their voices were those of a generation looking for a way to alleviate the suffering. 

The documentary is set on the streets of Chicago, known in some sectors of the world as Chi-raq, a local colloquialism that has grown to prominence over the last several years among youth who use it to describe what some believe to be war zone. This is not an unknown factor that plagues urban life in some areas of the country, yet it has come to a point where kids are looking to lift their voices against the rage that has infested the streets over petty disputes and small crimes that are leading to death.
Many victims of this gun violence are not even directly associated with it. Some kids have been shot just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the documentary shows the seriousness of this epidemic as it listens to each student speak. One girl’s prom date got shot right before her prom. She was devastated. Kids cry at schools and express their remorse over social media. Some try to sleep the day away to erase the pain as their desks become the comforting arms that shield them from this reality.

The documentary was piercing and a direct hit on the head for many who live in a world where they are far from the cries or the touch of this violence. Still, it doesn’t hide the face of this violence, because it has starred in Chicago’s news shows and generated on-air interviews with Chicago’s radio shows.
The kids in Lost Friends brought a true voice to the stage last night. Their voice! A voice of experience. A voice of reason. A voice that is change!


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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