Jennilie with Reality Poets Jay, El and Var (right to left) at Cornell Tech

Jennilie Brewster is the project lead for OPEN DOORS, an artist collective based in a long-term care facility, on Roosevelt Island. Aka the Reality Poets, OPEN DOORS members are largely black and Latino men who rely on wheelchairs as the result of gun violence. Through spoken word, hip-hop, and more the Reality Poets collaborate with other artists and activists to inspire action for safer, more just communities.

In 2019, the Reality Poets co-wrote the play FADE based on their true stories, edited the poetry anthology Wheeling & Healing and produced the album OPEN DOORS Reality Poets Vol. 1. Now, they’re working on a graphic novel, a documentary film and a virtual showcase uplifting the voices of those who are among the most vulnerable during the current health crisis. 

Check out the Reality Poets on VICE.

Reality Poets photographed by Elias Williams for Photoville 2019