"If you don't like someone's story, write your own."
-Chinua Achebe

Black youth are unmotivated. Black youth are violent. Black youth do not value education. These are examples of stereotypes that many hold about black youth. Although Baltimore City is 69 percent black, there are few opportunities for black children and youth to explore the major roles that culturally responsive pedagogy and positive racial identity can play in promoting academic achievement, healthy communities, and resilience. Researchers have generated a substantial body of research that demonstrates that black children and youth learn best in culturally familiar settings and when they have strong positive racial identities.

"What I really like to do is the Youth Kwanzaa Collective because I meet new people and go different places. I have always wanted to be an organizer for my organization and now I am an ambassador for YRI. I will always speak for myself when I need to."

Cherie (9 years old)
Youth Resiliency Institute
Cultural Organizer

The Youth Kwanzaa Collective is an asset-based youth led campaign that promotes racial equity, strong cultural identity and family and community yearlong through the Nguzo Nane (seven principles of Kwanzaa) plus Heshima (respect). Through community "in-reach" and monthly Kwanzaa gatherings, Baltimoreans who live by the values of Kwanzaa are honored and celebrated; while through cultural organizing, community members in every council district are introduced to culturally-relevant tactics that promote the process of black youth taking responsibility to define who they are instead of allowing others to do so for them.

The Youth Kwanzaa Collective is presently focusing on promoting books written by Black authors for children, youth and young adults.

Participants are also organizing in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa.

To learn more about The Youth Kwanzaa Collective, please send an email to: info@youthresiliencyinstitute.org


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info@youthresiliencyinstitute.org | 443.934.1972 | P.O. Box 592, Baltimore, MD 21203

© Copyright 2012 – Youth Resiliency Institute – All rights reserved

The Youth Resiliency Institute is a program under the umbrella of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Maryland. The Youth Resiliency Institute is dedicated to inspiring realization of the authentic self in children, youth and young adults in Baltimore. We encourage and support authentic living in the service of just, joyful and sustainable communities.