Launched in 2016, OPEN DOORS supports the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by gun violence and inspires action for safer, more just communities. 


OPEN DOORS is an arts and justice initiative based in Coler Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center, where many members live and work. Collaborating with established artists, members use storytelling, hip-hop and spoken word to challenge audiences to combat the injustice that breeds violence in our cities.

OPEN DOORS returns to the NYC neighborhoods where members grew up to inform young people about rarely considered consequences of gun violence, and to encourage them to become positive change makers.

OPEN DOORS equips members with tools to manage their individual and collective art careers. Each member plays a unique role in the initiative. OPEN DOORS Reality Poets appear at venues around NYC, and have produced the poetry anthology Wheeling & Healing.

Donate to Open Doors via Paypal

Check out the Open Doors website and Facebook page for more information.

OPEN DOORS Reality Poets

Andres Molina
Ramon "Tito" Cruz
Vince Pierce
Sammy Reyes
LeVar "Var" Lawrence
Micah Harris
Suluk Johnson
Alhassan "El" Abdulfattaah


Jennilie Brewster, Project Lead
Dexter Ciprian, Communications Lead
Dani Reuben, Project Coordinator
Pavel Bez, Media Education


Jenessa Abrams, writer and editor, 2018
Joel François, spoken word artist, 2018 – 2019
Shaun Leonardo, performance artist and educator, 2018
Marlon Peterson, community organizer and criminal justice advocate, 2017 
Steven Willis, spoken word artist, 2017 – 2018
Alex Davis, youth organizer, 2017 
Alexa Smithwrick, podcaster, 2017 
David Tomas Martinez, poet, 2016