Huge Building Projection Confronts Milwaukee’s Drug/Alcohol Overdose Surge

Impossible-to-Ignore Teen Music Video Addresses Milwaukee’s Growing Overdose Problem

WHAT:             Full-scale projection of ananti-drug music video created by local teens to combat the skyrocketing drug/alcohol overdoses in Milwaukee since the pandemic began. There will also be a press conference to address the increase in addiction since the pandemic began.  

WHEN:             Teen Video Projection Premiere: Thurs, Feb. 17th at 6:15 p.m.*
(countdown begins at 5 p.m.)

WHERE:           Projection on the side of the SW corner of 2nd and Wells behind the Bradley Symphony Center in Milwaukee at 212 W. Wisconsin (enter the rear on 2nd and Wells St.)

WHY:               Since the pandemic, drug overdose deaths in Wisconsin have climbed by more than 48%. In response, Milwaukee County Behavioral Health has partnered with nine local nonprofits, including Running Rebels, to encourage teens to talk about drugs and alcohol with friends and family (“frienderventions”). Together, they’ve created the campaign called Mission Over Addiction, which will include:


Since the pandemic, drug overdose deaths in Wisconsin have climbed by more than 48%. In response, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with nine local nonprofits, including Running Rebels, to encourage teens to talk about drugs and alcohol with friends and family.

Together, the group has worked with Ignite Change to create a campaign called “Mission Over Addiction.” The campaign will include traditional advertising like radio and outdoor ads, social media, and a website with resource links to help teens carry out “frienderventions” – or interventions with friends and peers who may have a drug or alcohol addiction. They’ve also enlisted help from teens themselves who have produced a music video that is meant to reach out to other teens via outdoor projections and social media.

The goal is to destigmatize addiction and encourage teens talk openly about their relationship to alcohol and other drugs. The campaign will direct teens to the website, that will:

  • Signs that a friend or family member has an addiction
  • Quiz to determine alcohol or drug dependency
  • Provide information on the risks of drugs and alcohol

The website will also:

  • Educate teens on what addiction is – a brain disease
  • Provide steps to have a successful “friendervention” so teens can talk to their peers about drugs and alcohol
  • Resources, including a hotline, for kids and youth care workers to call and get help from professionals.

With 41 years of experience, Running Rebels is proud to be one of Milwaukee oldest Black-founded and led youth-serving organizations. Running Rebels annually serves 2,500 primarily Black youth, aged 12-25, with prevention and intervention mentoring programs. Running Rebels offers them a structured brotherhood and sisterhood of supportive role models, educational support, workforce development services, high-quality arts activities, an acclaimed athletics program, wellness services, and an after-school and summer-safe space, designed to keep kids safe and off the streets during out-of-school hours.

Ignite Change is a social cause agency that empowers those who champion important social causes to communicate their mission and grow the support they deserve.

The Mission Over Addiction Campaign is funded by The Milwaukee County Behavioral Health, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with the state of Wisconsin. In addition to Milwaukee County and Running Rebels, partners include Impact and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Teen-produced music video confronts Milwaukee’s drug overdose problem – up 48% since the pandemic. The video will be projected on large buildings throughout the city and is part of a campaign to destigmatize addiction and encourage teens talk openly about drugs and alcohol. The campaign, lead by Ignite Change, Running Rebels and the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Department, also includes ads and a social media posts that lead youth to a website where they can get help from professionals.

SOURCE Ignite Change

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