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The F-You Project: Memoirs of Violence and Compassion [Article]

The creator of The Forgiveness Project, Tara Muldoon, recently sat down with some of the writers from her new book F-You: Memoirs of Violence and Compassion on behalf of HipHopCanada. Below is what Tara and four of the other writers had to say about their writing experience.

Toronto, ON – “Memoirs of Violence and Compassion has been a dream of mine since F-You: The Forgiveness Project was created. We, the hip-hop community, don’t speak openly enough about the impact of glorifying violence, retaliation and anger. I literally sent out a submission call for pieces on where forgiveness fits in with violence and was overwhelmed by the response. The book launch is September 5, where the world will see the writings of the 22 youth but here is what a few had to say about the experience.” -Tara Muldoon

Click the jump to continue reading. To order F-You: Memoirs of Violence and Compassion, click here.

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Brooke Write

“The word grateful is an understatement in reference towards my feelings towards being featured in this book. I don’t just look at this as a chance for me to shine, but a chance for my voice to be heard. 
I wrote “Words Hurt” based off of personal experience. Growing up, I’ve witnessed and experienced verbal abuse from loved ones and pretended that it never hurt me, when in reality it did. However, I overcame that part of my past by forgiving the ones responsible. That’s why I’m super grateful to be apart of a project that is meaningful; to be apart of a project that will help people realize forgiveness is not for the other party, but for themselves. What better way to tie violence and compassion together?” -Brooke Write

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Zamani Thomas

“There are times when you feel as though you shouldn’t be a part of something, not because you aren’t capable of producing something of quality, but because that quality may not be the true measure of your worthiness to be part. 
Working on this F-You project evoked that sense of insecurity in that I felt I would be doing an injustice to the work of F-You by not having a major incident in my life to the level of my co-authors. 
Once pen hit paper however, the process and energy of what this book and project illuminated showed me that everyone has it in them to touch and feel the depths of pain, sorrow and hurt for someone else; even a stranger. And with that, also learn to forgive.” -Zamani Thomas

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Jeff Roulston

“I hate watching the news because the images of violence they carry depress me; but also because the politicians and so-called community leaders they get to talk about the causes of and solutions for our violence problem anger me. 

They rush to lay blame because society demands that somebody go down for this (“Somebody’s gotta die,” Biggie would say). But no one takes any responsibility and everyone expects someone else to (Nas would say, “It’s logic, as long as it’s nobody that’s in my clique”). Pointing fingers, which Canadians do a lot, gets us nowhere and of course three fingers are always pointing back at us, and that’s what the F-You book gave me the forum to get across. It’s time to take responsibility.” -Jeff Roulston

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Sahar Talebi

“The very concept of forgiveness requires the ability to empathize. fictional stories parallel this in a very profound way, the act of putting yourself in another person’s position, looking at the world through their eyes, and telling their story. As human beings we have a natural compulsion to fill empty spaces with thoughts, pictures, words, and stories… 

It’s usually not until you are encouraged to put ink to paper that you realize the reflection of reality on every single imagined/fictional story you have ever told. what you read in this book was MY natural compulsion. it was my mandatory tale to share. it was the shoes that i was compelled to walk a mile in. To be a part of something this extraordinary has felt like an obligation to anyone that has ever found themselves on either end of the barrel of the gun that i wrote about, so that their life story may begin where mine ended; with forgiveness.” -Sahar Talebi

About F-You: The Forgiveness Project Book

Foreword by Kardinal Offishall
Introduction by Tara Muldoon
ISBN: 978-1-4600-0203-2
Order on Amazon.

“This youth-driven project exudes strength, courage, and the ability to heal.” –Bryan Brock, 1 Love T.O.

F-You: The Forgiveness Project is a social initiative that focuses on the question “What would it look like if you forgave either yourself or another today?” We feature speakers and stories from those who have crossed the line from victim to survivor, finding forgiveness in the process.

Violence and Compassion is the first in a series of books featuring stories and essays from youth on forgiveness. Created solely by a group of youth, this book is empowering, gritty, and honest – just like the human experience of forgiveness. All pieces in this collection are written in the hopes of making a difference.

“F-You: The Forgiveness Project is an inspiring youth-driven initiative that taps into the power of the arts and self-expression to empower youth to find the strength to overcome some of the most intractable circumstances. Here at the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, we commend the young people involved in this campaign to promote forgiveness and salute them as societal changemakers.” —Michaëlle Jean Foundation

“Violence is something almost unavoidable in society today from urban communities to our corporate world. Some violence comes with justification, and others are just heinous acts. The problem comes into play when these acts are glorified by the public or even wrongly publicized by the media, sometimes creating an antagonist versus protagonist situation. Sadly, this can potentially ruin the lives of one or both of the parties involved. On the other hand, justified violence is easily perceived by the human mind for whatever righteous reasoning behind it in some cases deeming the act okay. Great to see youth speaking about this topic.” —Joseph Crespo, The Source Magazine

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Twitter: @ProjectFWord | @TaraMuldoon

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