Guardians of Heritage (GoH), an African-centered youth leadership and legacy collaborative, will engage Black youth in intergenerational placed-based inquiry, collaborative study, and community-based social problem-solving activities. The GoH program uses Black scholarship, cultural expression, traditions of resistance, community history, legacies of struggle, and heritage knowledge as resources to build and sustain young people’s transformative power, agency, activism critical reasoning and leadership skills. Through online study and focused community engagement youth in six historic Black communities—AfricaTown, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; San Jose, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baltimore, Maryland; and Chicago, Illinois—will work together building curriculum, producing multi-media communications, and creating digital learning tools to educate one another and serve their communities.
Guided by and in reciprocal relationship with the legacies of struggle and victories of trusted Elders and Younger Adult activists (Jegna), Guardians will engage in youth participatory research, collective community action, and community-based social problem-solving that includes educating others. This is how the GoH young people will achieve the Collaborative’s four African-centered power-building goals: a) developing civic reasoning and leadership skills; b) deepening their cultural heritage knowledge and Black consciousness; c) fostering intergenerational legacy learning relationships; and d) inspiring innovative social entrepreneurship. Youth activism will include producing research-based digital applications (mobile Apps), virtual curriculum materials, and media (podcasts) informed by African-centered values and heritage knowledge and focused on difficult to teach subjects like the impacts of slavery’s legacies on their communities.