URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The founder of one Urbana anti-violence group, Manhood Training Camp, said the best way to combat negative influence in a teen’s life is to understand it. That is why he hosted a media workshop in an effort to achieve Victory Over Violence.

Most teens spend their day listening to and watching media. Camper Smith John said more often than not, they are not aware of the subliminal messages kids like him are exposed to.

“I don’t think most people nowadays are listening to the lyrics, or at least paying attention to what they’re saying. They’re just trying to figure out a certain vibe or trying to match up or view their self into certain other people that they just listen to,” John said.

 Banio Koroma wants to change that.

“We feel that if we empower them to create their own positive content, they can then start seeing how they’re being programmed to do negative things from destructive images and imagery,” Koroma said.

He is using his Manhood Training Camp to get them in the know and show them how to use it.

“We want to fight back from all the negative imagery that’s being inundated with our kids. We want to empower our kids, let them know that they have a choice, that they don’t just have to be consumers of negative content.”

Koroma said media was an escape when he was an at-risk teenager, and believes showing them how to be a positive influence will make all the difference.

“So we can flip it to that, to where violence isn’t glorified or isn’t portrayed in a positive manner,” John said.

“It’s going to take community to solve this problem. And I’m doing my part to help the community and it’s in this senseless cycle of violence,” Koroma said.

Today was only the introduction of the podcast and radio workshop. Exploring careers in media will now be part of the rotation for the Manhood Training Camp. The camp hosts a different class each week.