Determined 2 Make It – Trailer

With unprecedented access to youth living serving their sentences in the Juvenile Justice System, DETERMINED 2 MAKE IT, features African American, Latino and White teens engaging in innovative art projects in which they express themselves and reflect upon their life experiences. With the collaboration of artist Activists from the outside, these young people not only reshape their local landscape and defy labels attached to them by the system and society, but also share their hopes and dreams for a brighter future. (32 minutes and 40 seconds)

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Diamonds Under Pressure

AP7U6954The soundtrack of Determined 2 Make It was created and performed by the boys and girls of the Southeast Michigan Juvenile Justice System in Youth Arts Alliance! music workshops. Most of these young people are featured in the documentary along with workshop facilitators, Ben Cohen, Akili Jackson and Yusuf Lateef of Radiant City.  The sound is mostly hip hop with original lyrics written by the youth with their poetry, stories of pain and suffering, and hopes and dreams for the future. Radiant City produced an album, Diamonds Under Pressure, with the 9 songs created in the workshops. To listen to the tracks, click on the following link:

Determined 2 Make It Soundtrack

Imagination is Free

“When we think about our imagination we aren’t locked up, we’re anywhere we want to be.” – Mary Thiefels, artist
Determined 2 Make It, documentary on youth in the Michigan Juvenile Justice System.

Washtenaw County Youth Center

Production shot of youth painting a mural at the Washtenaw County Youth Center with artist Mary Thiefels. The title of the mural is Anything is Possible.