Actor and comedian Gerald Kelly is known for his big laughs, but the urgency of his latest project is no laughing matter.
“Microphones Up, Guns Down” is an initiative rooted in confidence for the power of creative expression in the face of adversity. Kelly's idea behind replacing guns with microphones is to give youth a voice, and therefore a choice to speak out about whatever would agitate them to the point of violence in the first place.
Through seminars, workshops and a comedy tour, Kelly hopes to spread the word that providing young people with creative tools to express themselves will help keep them motivated to stay on the path to success.
And the program's mission statement makes it very clear that the initiative does not simply aim to inspire young comedians.
“We want to encourage young people by helping them to achieve their dreams of becoming a comedian, singer, rapper, poet, politician, motivational speaker or anything else that they want to become in life.”