Various Colleges to Honor Botham Jean Through Art During Black History Month – #ForBo Initiative

Texas Christian University, KD Conservatory College of Film & Dramatic Arts, and University of South Carolina Aiken are included in the colleges and organizations participating in the national #ForBo Initiative: the Black History Month 2020 mission to honor the life and memory of Botham Jean and examine the issues that contributed to his death at the hands of ex-police officer Amber Guyger. This initiative was created by Black And Making It founder Ayvaunn Penn to use performing arts as a catalyst for positive social change by fostering as many conversations as possible nationwide that:

  • Heal racial divides through empathy
  • Examine issues within the American criminal justice system
  • Promote healthy relationships between all but especially African-American civilians and police officers

Colleges and organizations participate in the #ForBo Initiative by hosting a staged reading and community discussion of For Bo: A Play Inspired by the Murder of Botham Jean by Officer Amber Guyger. Penn was inspired to write For Bo while closely following media coverage of the aftermath of Jean’s death, including watching the murder trial of Amber Guyger unfold in real time. Through a fictional narrative, this play explores the issues that led to Jean’s death and how society grapples with the resulting trauma. For community discussions, institutions and organizations are encouraged to:

  • Feature a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary panel of professionals and community leaders who can provide insight and informed perspectives on social issues related to the Botham Jean case
  • Take active measures to ensure their community discussions: allow community members to share emotions and thoughts in a constructive way; encourage all points of view to be heard; move conversations in the direction of viable solutions for positive social change

Want to see your institution or organization join this movement? The steps are simple. Click here for more details. 

“Black History Month…serves as a reminder that history is as close as yesterday. It reminds us of how far we have come as a country in terms of racial equality as well as the great distance we have to go. That is a part of why I launched the #ForBo Initiative to honor the life and legacy of Botham Jean: a young man of color whose murder by a police officer made history. That history was just in 2018, yet it still feels like yesterday.”  ~ Ayvaunn Penn, For Bo Playwright & #ForBo Initiative Founder

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