ART REVEALING THE GUNFIRE EPIDEMIC
The Soul Box Project raises awareness of the U.S. gunfire epidemic by helping communities create meaningful activities and exhibiting thousands of hand-folded origami Soul Boxes representing victims. We are an arts-based nonprofit influencing the decisions of individuals and policymakers with a visually stunning call-to-action unlike any other gun violence prevention organization.
men, women and children
in the U.S.
Half were killed.
54% of the deaths were suicides.
Gun violence, defense and accidents killed the rest.
Half were injured.
Many were disabled for life.
Countless others struggle with psychological trauma.
This is the
LOSS WE CARRY.
2022 Deaths & Injuries Total = 82,791
ARTivism is an
Effective Response to Gun Violence
The Soul Box Project is a way for us to respond to our country’s epidemic of gunfire deaths and injuries.
I can tell you more than 80,000 people are killed or injured by bullets every year,* but with Soul Box activities and exhibits you can see and feel the numbers in a visceral way. Reaching that emotional place is what prompts action to save lives.
We can all – Secure our guns. Support a friend who’s struggling. Join community efforts to reduce violence. Be aware. Be compassionate. Care.
~Leslie Lee, Artist and Founder of The Soul Box Project
Take Action Together
See what organizations have become Soul Box Branches to aid their efforts to raise awareness. Add your state to the map! Materials list and sources to make backpacks and panels will be online in June. Learn more.
Our Network of Branches
Include The Soul Box Project in your June 2023 plans for Wear Orange and Gun Violence Awareness Month. Learn more.
Let’s Connect our Activism in 2023
Make Your Own Soul Box Panels and “Backpacks”
ALL 372 of our original display panels and starter kit materials have been claimed, in time for Wear Orange 2023!
HOWEVER any individual, group or organization can still become a Branch and use the Soul Box Project resources to reveal the scale of U.S. gunfire deaths and injuries. Contact a Branch near you to inquire about sending in Soul Boxes or borrowing display materials.
Also plan to be part of our This Loss We Carry–NATIONWIDE event in June 2023. Get started now.
Host an Exhibit or Event
Branches that have already “adopted” our original panels or “backpacks” may be able to lend their display materials to other organizations planning an exhibition or event.
Exhibits can consist of just a few hundred or many thousands of Soul Boxes. Whether in a museum, library, theater, gallery, art center, church, business or community center, no budget or venue is too small to provide an impact.
Events may include the calming, restorative activity of folding origami Soul Boxes. Then, display them to raise awareness by combining art with activism. Collaborate with other local organizations.
Experience Our Online Exhibit: This Loss We Carry
Over 30,000 Soul Boxes in this online exhibit represent people in the U.S. killed by gun violence, defense, accidents or suicide. All of these Soul Boxes were on display on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
The Soul Box Project
reveals the U.S. gunfire epidemic by counting and honoring victims.
Soul Box exhibits visually showcase the true extent of the U.S. gunfire epidemic. Each Soul Box holds a physical space for a life lost or injured by gun violence, defense, accident or suicide. People across the country have made and sent us thousands of hand-folded origami boxes:
Each one counts. Each one is seen.
Each loss is felt.
The entire work of art—representing the number of U.S. gunfire deaths and injuries in three years—was displayed in Washington, D.C., on October 16-17, 2021.
These panels have now been distributed to Branches of The Soul Box Project nationwide to keep spreading the awareness of Gunfire violence across the U.S. Contact us to become a Branch for your area.
The Soul Box Project
offers healing participation to those seeking solace.
I had no inclination to make a box at all. I really was reluctant. Finally, I went through the process of just folding the paper. I couldn’t be in the emotional part and fold the box at the same time. It turned off that part of my brain to the grief that was so painful. I couldn’t find any other way.
There it was right in front of me, two pieces of paper – folding them. It’s beautiful.
~Andrew M., who lost his son to suicide | Watch the interview.
As a parent [these Soul Boxes] make me think: each person who made a Box has felt the pain of a lost soul. Every knock on the door, every phone call, you pray it’s not news like this.
It was a joy watching Angela making her Soul Boxes! After a few tears and sobs, she really felt good about what she was doing. Your project has accomplished not only awareness, but a comfort to those who have lost so many loved ones.
The Soul Box Project
provides dramatic visual support for all initiatives working for a safer, more civil society.
Groups and organizations across the country have collaborated with our Project by using Soul Boxes to support their activism. Folding a Soul Box is a calming, restorative activity for groups or individuals. Add your locally-made Boxes to your own community exhibit or send them to a participating Branch of the Project to effectively raise public awareness.
Soul Boxes remember individuals lost or injured by any circumstance of shooting: violence, defense, accident or suicide. Soul Boxes represent and honor people of every race, cultural background, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious or political affiliation.
We assist any group looking for ways to dramatize their messages about reducing gun violence. Get inspiration from the creative events and exhibits others have hosted. Then Contact us, or a Branch of the Project, to plan action in your community.