If you drive slowly through the Southeast region of Baltimore, you’ll see an area lacking in any kind of structures that claim this part of the city as a place for youth. I’m here in Baltimore working with a team of diverse educators to align resources, networks and ideas to start a Nonprofit that (hopefully) will change the landscape here to reclaim a place for young people of color. If we are successful in launching our project, we will be able to change the paths of the youth in this community through education and apprenticeship (job) positions. It was during one of the summer youth programs I attended here in Baltimore that I met a young man, a junior in [...]
The significance of black hair carries a story not typically featured in mainstream media. Check out this article from GQ an the value of the durag among men of color. Click here to read the whole story.
This speech is from the 2015 ESPYS awards, where Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This speech reigns true with I AM MY LIFE because it is an example of how one can use their story (and their platform) to foster needed change, education, and acceptance. Caitlyn expresses personal vulnerability to inspire a more compassionate community that respects all people, moving beyond tolerance and instilling inclusion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRm5UMF2Bb4
The ‘minority of a minority’ experience: Blacks in Japan A previous colleague of mine, upon viewing the Japan project HERE, identified parallels in a recent piece published on Japan Times entitled, ‘Being black can be more fun then being gay’. It features the personal experiences of two black, gay, international men living in Japan, who call themselves a “minority of a minority”, and like I AM MY LIFE are using their own personal narratives to teach and sustain inclusion. I learned a lot from identifying shared experiences with these two men, as a gay, black, male who lived in Japan for two years & a summer. How well they articulated the “racism, but in different forms’ that occurs in Japan [...]
Great social movements often have one thing in common: they are created by people with the courage to talk openly about their lives and experiences. YES! This is the foundation for I AM MY LIFE. We believe in the power of story to produce not just healing for YOU: Storyteller, but to change the minds, hearts, and existing stereotypes (barriers) that the Listener of your story may possess. Stories make the community more inclusive, accepting of differences, and focused on similarities between us. Read HERE as reference to how stories create change!