We value the arts and creativity as crucial elements of an equitable community. We passionately create and consume art that is culturally relevant, challenging to the status quo, and uplifting to the marginalized. We leverage the arts to empower each other to build sustainable, creative lives. We invest in valuable, devoted artists to facilitate meaningful arts experiences.
We value relevant, equitable education. We know that the school to prison pipeline is a reality for our scholars and that academic strength is crucial to living a successful life. We are constantly refining our pedagogy in order to equip our scholars to be highly literate, independent thinkers who love to learn. We work intentionally with our scholars to ensure they become academically disciplined without succumbing to intellectual colonization.
We value personal growth and social-emotional development. We believe that progress means every human being understands their God-given image, realizes and utilizes the strengths within, and obtains the resources to live truly free. We believe that we are all united by one Creator and are therefore called to radical, compassionate lives. We closely and boldly mentor our scholars on righteous living, community engagement, and leadership development all within a faith-filled life.
We value access to resources for all children and their families. We believe that “it takes a village” to do anything of value, and a village requires resources. We gather resources and strengthen our village to equip and empower our scholars to achieve their goals and be true leaders in our organization. We create spaces that are well-resourced sanctuaries where youth can safely learn, create, and grow. We are dedicated to correcting oppressive systems that are responsible for preventing equal access to all of God’s people.
We value quality advocacy in which our people, starting with the youth, are centered as coproducers of our reciprocal programming. We listen to our youth and their families as they express needs and goals. We shows up for our youth in their schools, neighborhoods, and wherever else they need us. We forge meaningful relationships with other organizations who do the same. We stand together interdependently during trials, always assuming the best of one another, and always defending one another’s dignity, internally and externally.
We value true equality. We acknowledge that racism is threaded into the fabric of this country and it enforces the system of poverty and prevents Black youth from being heard, nurtured, and protected. We strive to be anti-racists in all of our practices and ensure that our organization’s lifestyle is a testimony of antiracism, youth leadership, and cultural competency and compassion. Anti-racism is one of the primary ways we support our youth as they break the cycle of poverty for their families and all of its effects.
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