Addressing this core question are the following primary initiatives, each supported by a $10,000 grant:
Beauty in the Backstreets: Based on a systematic strategy developed be Deanna “Deedee” Brown, this initiative seeks to provide access to communications infrastructure and production tools in the service of community empowerment. By learning to tell their own stories in new ways, participants take control of their own narratives, while shaping the narratives of and about their neighborhoods and communities.
The cluster is currently finalizing plans for its nine-week workshop (Feb 28 – Apr 27) for adults, ages 17+, interested in developing professional digital media skills and vocabularies using accessible, high-quality smart phone technology and personal computers. Learners will develop proficiency with these tools while practicing sophisticated story-telling and pre-production techniques in consultation with local media arts professionals.
Violet’s Village Learning Center: Over 7 weeks, this team will prototype a program that adopts an African diasporic lens to engage young people, their parents, and community members to gain perspective on how people have overcome obstacles and gained power through connection with each other.
Beginning on February 13th, this free after-school program is deep in recruitment with about half its inaugural class full. Youth will learn African history and create engaging projects rooted in Afro-Diasporic culture; build communication, art, and writing skills that affirm self-worth; and visit local museum exhibits and cultural sites important to the African Diaspora. “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey.
Human Services Collaboration: This cluster seeks to bring human service providers together to break down silos, explore shared needs, and develop a thriving ecosystem that collaborates and enables. Moving away from a reactionary stance, the collaborative will also produce a joint video that expresses a shared agenda.