Griot Works is a youth entrepreneurship and community development program that utilizes media production and cultural education as tools of advocacy and business development to foster personal and collective transformation among Baltimore city youth ages 16 to 24. Each year, the program will recruit a cohort of 15 youth that will be trained in photography, video production, community organizing, event planning and racial and social justice advocacy. In addition to their media production training, the youth will also plan and host collaborative community events in partnership with other community organizations that provide platforms for mobilization around issues of immediate relevance in the lives of Baltimore city youth.
Griot Works is designed to empower youth to provide solutions to the challenges that face them: the program will provide youth with entrepreneurship and business training in the effort to support the development of youth- owned small-scale freelance businesses to generate income and foster financial stability. The year-long program will culminate in an intensive capstone experience during the summer designed to provide participants with focused business development, professional networking opportunities, and opportunities to develop a professional media portfolio in the pursuit of developing a career. The capstone project will include a travel-study component to strategic domestic and/or international locations based on professional development opportunities. The capstone project seeks to prepare participants to enter the workforce or to grow their own business.
Afrikan Youth Alchemy (AYA Inc.) is a community-based organization that utilizes cultural education, media arts, and expeditionary learning as tools to foster leadership and civic engagement among urban youth. Established in 2008, the organization facilitates 2 programs: The Griot’s Eye Program and Independent Afrikan Minds Program (IAM).