For more information, contact:
Kara Aanenson, Director, Just Kids Campaign
(410) 706-3875

BALTIMORE, MD, October 26, 2015 - Each year, over 400 youth between 14 and17 years old have their futures shattered when they are automatically charged as adults and sent to the adult criminal justice system. Just being accused of a crime creates an adult criminal record that bars youth from housing, financial aid, and employment opportunities. Youth are left with the physical and emotional scars from their experiences in adult jail that have a lasting impact on their lives.

Hear the true stories of youth directly impacted by this law and find out what CLIA’s Just Kids Campaign is doing to change it during the fourth annual Art with a Story event.  Art with a Story is an exciting night of live entertainment, storytelling and visual art to honor National Youth Justice Awareness Month, which was officially recognized by President Obama earlier this year. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at The Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Art with a Story will begin with appetizers and a powerful art exhibit showcasing multimedia self-portraits depicting youth’s dreams that have been fractured by the collateral consequences of being automatically charged as an adult.

“[Through our artwork] you will see our determination to keep pursuing our dreams no matter what. I don’t want other kids to be in the same situation that I was. You can’t give up,” explained Raymond C., a CLIA Youth Leader for the Just Kids Campaign.

The second half of the night will be hosted by national juvenile justice spokespeople, Jabriera Handy and Kevin Reverley, and will feature live performances and moving vignettes depicting how youth experience the barriers that come with having an adult criminal record. The suggested donation is $15.00. Proceeds from the event will allow the Just Kids Campaign to engage youth and families directly impacted by the system in sharing their stories.

The Just Kids Campaign is a statewide advocacy campaign working to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults in Maryland through policy change, community organizing and public education. Its key spokespeople are young people who have been directly impacted by Maryland’s criminal justice system and work as advocates on the Campaign. CLIA, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that develops young people to be community leaders, leads the Just Kids Campaign.

To get tickets to Art with a Story and learn more about CLIA and the Just Kids Campaign,, contact Kara Aanenson at (410) 706 - 3875, or [email protected]

Connect with CLIA on Facebook and Twitter (@cliayouth)
Learn more and add your voice to the Just Kids Campaign: | Facebook | Twitter (@JustKidsMD).