Cameron Boyce's Final Project Asks Us To Wield Peace, Not Guns

Cameron Boyce, an actor and activist best known for his projects on Disney Channel, started working on a project to bring awareness to gun violence before his untimely death at age 20. The newly formed Cameron Boyce Foundation is teaming up with Refinery29 to continue this final project, titled Wielding Peace.

"I’ve named the concept Wielding Peace. It will be a collection of images that feature people from all walks of life (celebrities, victims of gun violence, common supporters) wielding 'guns.' The catch is, the ‘guns’ that we’re using as props will be items that signify unity and peace," Cameron said of the project. "Household items such as musical instruments, cameras, food, sporting equipment, beauty products, articles of clothing…anything that might inspire someone creatively as well as make a strong statement with the sentiment that we need to choose a different weapon."

ADVERTISEMENT

Wielding Peace began with photographs of Boyce and his two best friends and roommates, L.A.'s Finest actress Sophie Reynolds and Jessie co-star Karan Brar, holding their objects in a series of gorgeous, powerful photos. The photos were shot by Boyce's cousin, Taryn Dudley, who helped come up with the creative for the photo series. Brar and Reynolds will now be ambassadors for Wielding Peace.

The Cameron Boyce Foundation will continue to provide resources and advocate for various causes and organizations that were important to the actor: Spreading kindness, ending gun violence, and providing clean water to those in need. It will also support Epilepsy Awareness; Boyce, who was epileptic, died of a seizure.

Ahead, see the meaningful photos Boyce wanted to share with the world.

Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Karan Brar, 20

"There aren't really words to describe what my relationship with Cameron was. I could try to put a simple label like 'best friend' over it, but the truth is that doesn’t really do it much justice," Brar tells Refinery29. "Honestly the best way I can put it is that Cameron was and is my brother. And because I knew about how important this project was to Cameron, it has become extremely important to me to help carry out."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"I decided to pose with a script because movies and TV shows have this amazing ability to let you step into someone else's world and understand their experiences as intimately as possible," explains Brar. "In the conversation about gun control and gun violence we have a group of people who aren’t fully understanding the extent of damage that is being done to families, communities and our country because we’ve become so numb to the idea of mass shootings. We need a lot more empathy, understanding, and compromise in this dialogue."
ADVERTISEMENT
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Unfortunately, we are the generation that has to experience this massive culture shift regarding safety in public spaces," Brar says. "We went from feeling safe in most spaces to being on constant alert of a shooter possibly walking in through the door. It’s horrible that we are experiencing this right before our eyes, but it’s important for us as young people to make sure it ends with us. I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me when I say, I refuse to live in a future where my kids will have to pick out which color of bulletproof backpack they want."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Sophie Reynolds, 20

"Cameron was my best friend, but honestly saying that doesn’t feel like enough, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have the right words to fully describe what we meant to each other," Reynolds tells Refinery29 of her friend and roommate. "We’d been attached to each other so closely for years, and I’m so thankful for every second I had with him."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Every time I turn on the news and see something about yet another mass shooting, I feel completely helpless. I think the most rewarding thing is just feeling like at least I’m doing something," says Reynolds. "I can’t just continue to sit around and wait for someone else to start the conversation. Somebody has to, so why not us?"

She adds:

"I absolutely think it is something that young people should be vocal about. We don’t feel safe in our schools, theaters, malls, or really anywhere anymore, and that’s not okay. They’ve started selling bulletproof backpacks. So, for young people to stand up and say that something has to be done is completely fair and necessary in order for change to happen. Gun violence is without a doubt impacting young people, and if an issue is directly affecting you, who better to speak out? You should never be afraid to make yourself heard."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Dance was really the start of my creative journey and a huge reason why I am who I am today," Reynolds explains of her choice of prop. "Cam and I used to talk about how thankful we were that we started out as dancers at a young age, because dancing was such a big form of creative expression for both of us. It helped us become artists. It was something really special that we shared, so it felt fitting for this."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Cameron Boyce

"There’s a long line of difference-makers in my family," Boyce told Haute Living in May, two months before his death. "I’m following in the footsteps of some really strong men and women who have showed me what it means to give back; it’s the greatest way to fulfill yourself. Every time I talk to someone who shares that similar passion, we talk about how there aren’t many feelings more euphoric. Changing someone else’s life positively changes yours for the better as well."
ADVERTISEMENT
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Everything about Cameron was honest, and his philanthropic work was just that — a real, honest passion," Brar says of his late friend. "All the work he was doing before he passed wasn’t at all about making him look good. Cam only cared about genuinely making a difference in this world for the better."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
“Cameron advocated for various causes, but Wielding Peace was his own,” his publicist and friend Kasey Kitchen tells Refinery29. “He called me one day with this idea that he had for a social media campaign that was designed to further awareness for gun safety. More specifically, he wanted to end gun violence. That component is so much more powerful because he wasn’t just encouraging people to choose peace, he was imploring them to.”
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"If he was still around today I can only imagine the amazing things he would have done, but because he isn’t, it's up to us to pick up where he left off and hopefully get as close as we can to making the kind of impact he would have made," Brar tells Refinery29.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"When everything happened with Cam, my immediate thought was This is now up to me, and there is no way I will let him down,'" his cousin and collaborator Dudley explains to Refinery29. "Cameron inspired me to use my art to make a change and bring awareness. Now it is up to me to turn to the world to do the same."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Kids these days need something to turn to, and something to bring them joy in such a difficult world," Dudley shares. "We are hoping this can influence the younger generation to focus on hobbies, passions, and expressive outlets that bring them happiness."
ADVERTISEMENT
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Kids these days need something to turn to, and something to bring them joy in such a difficult world," Dudley shares. "We are hoping this can influence the younger generation to focus on hobbies, passions, and expressive outlets that bring them happiness."
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
"Wielding Peace is important to me because it was so important to him. I still remember the day he sat me down to tell me about the concept. He was so passionate about it. Seeing him just light up when he talked about it is all I can think about," reveals Reynolds. "I remember telling him that yes, this was going to work, because when Cam believed in anything like that you just knew it was special. It’s such an important cause to me anyway, but doing it for him makes it even more important."

Keep clicking to see the rest of Boyce's photos from Wielding Peace.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
ADVERTISEMENT
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
Photographed by Taryn Dudley @taryndudleyphoto.
ADVERTISEMENT
Load more...