Criminology department hosts anti-gang violence film Warrior Boyz

November 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

This photo can be seen on posters up all over the Kwantlen Campuses, promoting the Warrior Boyz film event. (Photo Submitted)

This photo can be seen on posters up all over the Kwantlen Campuses, promoting Warrior Boyz. (Photo Submitted)

The Kwantlen Criminology department will host the award-winning film, Warrior Boyz, at the Surrey Campus on Nov. 3.

The film, which is about gang violence and is set in a Surrey high school, was one of 10 winners of a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Human Research Council – Community University Research Alliance. The prize money will go towards Acting Together, a project looking to prevent youth from getting involved in gangs.

Warrior Boyz was brought to Kwantlen’s attention by Joan Nesbitt, who’s been part of the Criminology department for 14 years.

Nesbitt originally wanted to show the film to her class, but when she contacted the director of the film, Beljit Sanghra, the simple showing snowballed into a larger, public screening that is meant to be seen as a community event.

“We’ve decided to really open it up to not only the Kwantlen community, but the larger community as well. I think that’s one of the defining features of this event, is we really want this to be seen as a community event and we really want to have a dialogue with the community about gang violence,” said Nesbitt.

She feels that gang violence is a community issue and that many Kwantlen students are involved, peripherally or not, with gangs and it’s not only a good idea to open up talk about gang violence to students, but the community of Surrey and even the Lower Mainland.

“The film is very provocative and I think everyone will be shocked and surprised about the depth. Hopefully, they will relate personally and start larger discussions,” she said. “I want everyone to take home a message, whatever it may be.”

Dr. Gira Bhatt, a psychology instructor at Kwantlen and Acting Together project director, feels just as strongly as Nesbitt does about the issue of youth involved with gang violence.

“The idea of this event is to create awareness and make everyone think about what we can do to help kids involved in the gang life and bring everyone together,” Bhatt said.

“I hope that everyone takes away the message that we need to be guardians, to keep an eye on what is going on with our cousins and other relatives and be aware.”

The Criminology department has no other current plans of getting involved with the prevention of youth in gang violence, but if this event goes well, Nesbitt said that might change.