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For Ahkeem: A Screening and Discussion on Young Women of Color and the Juvenile Justice System

Join the Urban Institute for a special screening of For Ahkeem, a documentary about 17-year-old Daje Shelton. A young mother and student at the court-supervised Innovative Concept Academy, Shelton works to graduate while navigating communities, institutions, and systems that instead of supporting, appear to work against her at each turn. Following the screening, join us for an interactive discussion on the issues and themes presented in the film and how they affect our DC community.



  • Sheila Clark, Chief of Programs, Sasha Bruce Youthwork
  • Jimmie Edwards, Director, Department of Public Safety, St. Louis, MO
  • K. Shakira Washington, Vice President, National Crittenton Foundation
  • Gustavo Velasquez, Director, Urban–Greater DC, Urban Institute (moderator)


About the film

After a school fight lands 17-year-old Daje Shelton in a court-supervised alternative high school, she’s determined to turn things around and make a better future for herself in her St. Louis neighborhood. But focusing on school is tough as she loses friends to gun violence, falls in love for the first time, and becomes pregnant with a boy, Ahkeem, just as protests in Ferguson erupt a few miles down the road. Through Shelton’s intimate coming-of-age story, For Ahkeem illuminates challenges many black teenagers face and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.


Spotlighting current debates through art

The Urban Institute hosts engaging conversations with of-the-moment artists and authors through film screenings, book releases, and other events that connect policy decisions to communities and bring evidence to life. 


Registration and refreshments will be available at 5:30 p.m., and the program will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.
For inquiries regarding this event, please contact [email protected].


Date & Time Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Thurgood Marshall Center for Service and Heritage 1816 12th St. NW
Washington , DC , 20009
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  • Senior Director, Urban–Greater DC