At Humanities Amped, youth are working year round to amplify healing justice, radical imagination, and beloved community in their school and communities!
This summer, we hosted a three week long summer program centered around this year's driving question "What does my community need?" Students were encouraged to think of a specific community they belonged to and an important need of that community, engaging in research to learn more. Combining their personal stories, research, and guidance from a teaching artist specializing in their chosen discipline, students then were able to create art pieces, such as songs, informational videos, poems, sculptures, and more, to represent their answer to the driving question.
Teaching artists Celeste Payne (visual arts), Brittany Marshall (performing arts), and Ryan Murray & Andrew Kuo (musical arts), and Amped alumni volunteer, Taylen Roberts, worked with our student-artists to draft a plan and offer support in bringing their ideas for their art projects to life!
"Heal the World/Heal Yourself" Mini-Conference
Midway through the first two weeks of the summer program, students participated in a mini-conference. At the "Heal Yourself, Heal the World" mini-conference, students attended workshops on mindfulness, emotional awareness, and self-management strategies led by Wanda Kuo, Tonja Myles, and Emanuel Boo Milton. The day ended with a featured poetry set of both student and staff poets, followed by a poetry workshop and readback. Students and staff wrote about what they envision and imagine for our communities and our world.
ARTS-BASED CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SHOWCASE
The big premiere has finally arrived! Community members, family, and friends were invited to witness the amazing work that the Amped youth worked on addressing needs of their communities!
To end off the celebration, Ms. George led us in our closing, Family Table, where we sat together, ate pizza, reflected on the program, and praised one another!
YALL Week featuring Tyler E. Brewster of Peer Connect!
During the third and final week of our summer program, YALL (Youth Apprentice Leadership League) students participated in activities to imagine what leadership looks like on their campus and create a plan to showcase their leadership in and outside of the Amped space!
Restorative Justice educator and practitioner Tyler E. Brewster of Peer Connect joined us during this week to help us explore the heart of restorative justice. In our time with Tyler we deepened our community connections, expanded our understanding of restorative justice, and reflected both on places where we are successfully using restorative justice practices as well as where we can continue to grow. The training provided students with new tools that can be utilized as they step into their new academic school year as leaders!
About Amped Summer Studio one student shared, "This was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I've never had such a strong connection to a group of people." Another student shared, "Humanities Amped was like the hole in my life that was finally filled. I am a very anxious person. Humanities Amped encouraged communication in a way that was not at all forceful. This made me wanna talk to people, and surprisingly I made friends."
At Humanities Amped, we believe that young people are problem solvers, not problems to be solved. When we give students space and permission to ask big questions about issues that matters to them inside of a supportive and uplifting community, they see themselves as the powerful change agents they are. We celebrate the work and learning of our young people this summer, and look forward to what's next! ●
As we do every year, we are taking a shared hiatus from June 30th - July 27th.
Our team at Humanities Amped is invested in long-term, sustainable care. And we know that begins right where we are, in our own lives. Showing up for ourselves means being intentional about slowing down and resting. It’s how we re-ground ourselves and build our capacity to show up for the long run.
It’s never an easy choice to care for ourselves. There is always so much to do, and for those of us whose work is caring for our community, we often feel like it is never enough. And yet we know that if we want to show up wholeheartedly, we must invest in our own restoration.
We hope to come back to you filled with energy, insight, and imagination. You, dear ones, deserve nothing less than our best selves!
See you in late July. :)
The Amped Team