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NAACP, Kinston Teens to host Raise the Age film event

Local organizations to host Raise the Age Film Event

Screening to build awareness on raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction

(Kinston, NC) - Kinston Teens, along with the Kinston-Lenoir Branch of the NAACP’s Criminal Justice Committee, will host a screening of Raise the Age, a short film, on Tuesday, March 28 at Neuse Regional Library at 6:00PM. The short film documentary, created by the Youth Justice Project, highlights the fact that North Carolina is one of only two states that still charges 16- and 17-year-olds in the adult criminal justice system. Following the film screening, a Community Panel Discussion will take place to further explain the impact of Raise the Age and its effects here in Kinston and Lenoir County.

“Our organization is proud to partner with our local NAACP and the Youth Justice Project to bring this film screening to our community,” said Kinston Teens founder Chris Suggs. “Improving outcomes and opportunities for youth is a major part of our focus, so we’re grateful to be able to spread awareness of the Raise the Age movement.”

“The school-to-prison pipeline is alive and well, and through this event, we’re one step closer to ending it,” said Tiffani Koonce, Vice President of the Kinston-Lenoir Branch of the NAACP. “Ensuring that the rights and humanity of all citizens are protected is at the core mission of the NAACP, and we especially want the rights of our young people to be secured.” This event follows a community panel discussion on the school-to-prison pipeline hosted on February 4 by the Kinston-Lenoir NAACP.

The film also discusses how finally raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction would benefit young North Carolinians, an effort that is possible with the support of legislation starting in the North Carolina General Assembly this year.

“Now is the time to Raise the Age of juvenile jurisdiction. We need the General Assembly to act this year. North Carolina’s teenagers deserve second chances and rehabilitative services, not being treated like adult criminals and sent to prison for childhood mistakes,” said Ricky Watson Jr., co-director of the Youth Justice Project, an initiative of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

For more information on the Raise the Age initiative, documentary, and hosting a screening, visit

Event Details: Film screening and community panel discussion on Tuesday, March 28 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM at Neuse Regional Library. Neuse Regional, or Kinston-Lenoir Public Library, is located at 510 North Queen Street, Kinston, NC 28501. The event is hosted by Kinston Teens, Kinston-Lenoir NAACP and the Youth Justice Project.

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