Off Campus



A convenience store employee uses photography to connect with his Southside customers.

Syracuse’s Southside neighborhood is plagued by violence with shootings, attacks and homicides regularly happening there.

At the center of the predominantly Black neighborhood is Ze Mart, a convenience store where locals shop for groceries, grab fried chicken for a meal or simply hang out with their friends.

Ze Mart cashier and cook Kelvin Jackson’s daily interactions with his Southside neighbors allow him to witness the personal struggles they have in their lives from substance abuse to the violence that surrounds them.

Jackson decided to build a photo collage of the people who frequent Ze Mart, hoping that it would provide some encouragement and healing to the collective trauma his community faces.