By Anna Skinner
The Indiana Youth Institute’s annual Because Kids Count Conference is approaching. Although the conference has been put on before, IYI is conducting a first-time event, a free public showing of the film “Girlhood.”
The showing will be 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
“(‘Girlhood’) is about two young women committing violent crimes and spending their teen years behind bars,” said Glenn Augustine, IYI’s interim CEO. “The film follows them and their journey through the correctional system.”
Shanae Watkins, one of the girls featured in the film, will be at the showing to discuss her life and the choices she made to the public after the movie.
“The target age is 13 and older because of strong language and adult themes, anybody under 18 must be accompanied by an adult,” Augustine said. “If there are teens in the audience, they can benefit from the movie, but they need to have somebody with them to help discuss some of the mature themes that will be presented.”
Approximately 380 people have registered already, and the event has room for 600. Although the showing is free, pre-registration can be made at iyi.org/girlhood to guarantee a spot.
“We are opening this movie and panel discussion to the public because it’s a proactive movie that really looks at girls and violence,” Augustine said. “The fact that we have some panelists here that deal with mental health issues, and Shanae Watkins provides a great opportunity to explore mind of one of these women, and look at youth violence in different way. It’s a great way for the community to learn and take that back to their neighborhoods for potential solutions to issues they may be facing.”
In Indiana during 2014, 743 youth were committed to the departments of correction, with 127 females and 616 males. In Hamilton County, seven were committed, with one female. In Boone County, one male was committed.