Writers and Artists Collaborate for Black History Month Celebration—Their Work to be Published by Youthprise

SAINT PAUL (February 17, 2014) The Collaborative Development Project, a joint initiative of the Saint Paul Almanac, Juxtaposition Arts, and Givens Foundation for African American Literature, and in partnership with Youthprise, is pleased to announce that articles and artwork by a team of youth and adults from our organizations will be published in February. Their work will be featured in a special Black History Month edition of Youthprise’s publication Newsflash.

The Almanac's Shaunté Douglas and Shaquan Foster.
The Almanac’s Shaunté Douglas and Shaquan Foster.

Honoring Our Common Heritage and Promoting Solidarity is the theme for this year’s Black History Month celebration. In addition to publication of Newsflash, there will be a series of events that highlight the youth perspective on Black culture and history. This year’s event focuses on Minnesota’s diverse Pan-African population and dialogue to promote unity and reconciliation among the many local groups representing the African diaspora.

Newsflash will be distributed during events sponsored by Youthprise and will be available online. The highlight will be the Philanthropy Breakfast on Friday, February 21. Youthprise, in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools Office of Equity and Diversity, will host a breakfast event that will bring together public and private funders to address the importance of unifying Minnesota’s various communities of the African diaspora, with the goal of improving opportunities for Pan-African youth.

The special edition of Newsflash features articles written by Shaquan Foster on the values of collaboration; Farha Ibrahim on the importance of strong community and honoring the work of Hussein Samatar; Ismail Khadar on the intersection of African and African American heritage in his own life; Jeremiah Bey, who describes his experience at Juxtaposition Arts and the significance of art as a space for expression and contributing to a larger community; and editor for this special edition Pamela Fletcher, professor of English, director of Writing, and co-director of Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity at St. Catherine University, who offers her reflections in the piece “My Africa, Myself.” Shaunté Douglas interviews Naomi Tutu, an international speaker on race and gender justice. Tutu will be in the Twin Cities as keynote speaker during the celebration.

The mission of Youthprise is to champion learning beyond the classroom so that all Minnesota youth thrive. Youthprise was founded by the McKnight Foundation to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability, and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. In partnership with other funders, with youth, and with key stakeholders, Youthprise will accelerate leadership and innovation beyond the classroom. Learn more at youthprise.org

The Saint Paul Almanac is a literary organization that creates opportunities for understanding, learning, and building relationships through sharing people’s stories. Learn more at www.saintpaulalmanc.org

For more than twenty-five years, the Givens Foundation for African American Literature has been the only organization in the Twin Cities exclusively dedicated to advancing and celebrating Black literature and writers. Their literary arts residencies, African American Author Series, and programs for writers illuminate the cultural resources and creative imagination found within African American literature to enrich cultural understanding for diverse audiences of all ages. Learn more at www.givens.org

Juxtaposition Arts is an arts education program, teen-staffed art and design enterprise, and locally rooted cultural development center. Juxtaposition Arts creates opportunities that unleash the creative genius of young people on the North Side of Minneapolis. We know the skills, imagination and ingenuity of our youth is one of our community’s greatest assets. We employ the power of art to awaken their internal sense of worth and ability to shape their future and their world. Learn more at www.juxtapositionarts.org

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