By Leslie Lee
— Getting a mission statement down on paper is an important rite of passage for many organizations. The Soul Box Project is no different. Just about a year after formulating the Soul Box idea, it’s exciting to put into words what we set out to do and how we’re doing it.
The Soul Box Project raises awareness of the U.S. gunfire epidemic by counting and honoring victims, offering healing participation to those seeking solace, and providing dramatic visual support for all initiatives working for a safer, more civil society.
The Soul Box Project envisions a society where all people living in the U.S. are empowered to choose responsible actions regarding gun use that reflect their values, priorities and beliefs so that we can live in safe communities, talk to resolve conflicts, have schools focus on learning, gather to worship in peace, and thrive in economies that foster trust and unity.
The Soul Box Project strives to:
● Engage all concerned in art-making activities that feel constructive, meaningful and healing.
● Be accurate and accountable in our depiction of statistics.
● Be flexible in our display possibilities regarding size, configuration and cost.
● Use materials and practices that minimize environmental impact.
● Maintain a low budget/high participation ratio.
● Refrain from language and activities that could increase divisive responses from our participants and audiences.
● Collect hand-folded paper Soul Boxes representing people killed or injured by gunfire in the U.S.
● Create large-scale displays of tens of thousands of Soul Boxes in public spaces.
● Position The Soul Box Project to become the visual tool and healing activity for gun-sense organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, Sandy Hook Promise, March for Our Lives (Parkland students), Ceasefire, Giffords PAC, Brady Campaign, etc. to bolster their goals for reducing gunfire deaths and injuries.
● Prompt action by using Soul Box displays to move the U.S. population and leaders to understand the magnitude of the gunfire problem.
● Position Soul Box making as the go-to activity to help communities and individuals heal gunfire trauma.
● Contribute to a shift in the national gun culture by affecting individual behaviors, which may, in the long run, do more to reduce deaths and injuries than efforts to enact legislation and laws.