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"Through Our Eyes" Youth Photovoice Exhibit Launching at Vibe Coffeehouse on January 16

Crime Victim Services is excited to announce the opening of a thought-provoking new exhibition, "Through Our Eyes | Youth Perspectives on a Community Free from Violence," presented by the agency’s Teen Ambassador Program and funded through a grant from the Ohio Department of Health. The launch celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, January 16 at 6 p.m. at Vibe Coffeehouse and Cafe in Lima, OH.

"Through Our Eyes” offers a glimpse into a future free from all forms of violence and oppressions as imagined through the lens of local middle and high school students. The heart of the exhibition lies in its innovative photovoice approach, a powerful method of expression in which participants capture images of everyday spaces, places, and situations while providing narratives that articulate the significance of the subject matter in their lives.

Violence is a public health problem that has the potential of causing long-term physical and mental health issues. According to the CDC, there are thousands of youth who experience violence daily in all communities, and in a recent survey of local high school students, protecting youth from violence was identified as the number one priority.

This exhibition showcases the unique perspectives of teens, offering a compelling look into their understanding of the impact of current social issues and their hopes for the future of Lima, through a combination of striking photos and poignant storytelling.

The project brings together the expertise of Crime Victim Services’ Violence Prevention Program in fostering connections between youth, families, and communities for innovative programming to prevent interpersonal violence while cultivating a culture where consent and respect for one another is a central tenet. Carla Thompson, a community resource navigator and prevention educator, has been instrumental in assembling the youth coalition and helping them to understand their potential for making an impact on the City’s future. Katlin Shuherk, a violence prevention coordinator and professional photographer, has also provided valuable support and resources as the youth have prepared for the exhibit.

"We are thrilled to present the 'Through Our Eyes' exhibit, and grateful to Vibe for hosting the event, which is a testament to the resilience and creativity of our youth in addressing issues of violence and oppression," said Erin Ostling Burkholder, director of outreach and prevention. "Their voices are invaluable, and through this project, we hope to inspire meaningful dialogue and action towards a safer and more equitable community."

For further information, contact Erin Ostling Burkholder at

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