Pulitzer Center Update

'Hands Up Don't Shoot' Sends a Powerful Message About Race in America

"My name is Indigo Passariello and I’m a singer songwriter. I write about the world as I see it."

Performing at the Pulitzer Center's Beyond War Conference, her song "Hands Up Don't Shoot" was written in response to the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014.

"I was just watching the news like a regular day and all of a sudden I felt mobilized," Passariello explained. "I literally was crying on the floor and my mom walked in and was like, 'are you just gonna sit there and cry forever or are you gonna do something?'"

Passariello responded with a poem that later turned into this song while studying music at Howard University.

"I didn’t really know what to do with the voice I had, I just knew I had something to say."