YAC does a lot of amazing projects throughout the year. Collectively we determine what areas of interest we would like to explore, and then spend our time determining how we can creatively express these topics. Check out what we’ve done!
bring the bars, the rap battle
This spring season, the YAC decided that one of the most efficient mediums to really gather their peers and get their attention, is music! BRING THE BARS was realized first through weekly discussions that centralized the following topics: Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the Black Lives Matter movement, gun violence and drug wars in Philadelphia. The Council critically analyzed each issue via research and personal dialogue. They then sourced seven local emcees and lyricists and facilitated a meeting with them all, presenting to them an original contract and their given topics to rap about at the event. The rap battle was a whirlwind of energy and was the perfect setting for the Council to host informal therapy sessions about the traumas of gun violence, to encourage local entrepreneurship, and to sit back and digest lyrics about real-life topics. Here is a video that reflects the experience, produced and edited by videographer Yusri Yunivrs:
AGAINST BULLYING, The Middle school workshop series
In spring 2015, the Youth Advisory Council reached out to younger students in attempt to change the culture at local schools for the better. The council members developed a workshop that they led with middle schoolers with aim to teach emotional coping skills and conflict resolution. These workshops were offered for free at various after-school programs in North Philadelphia and asked students to confront bullying within their own communities in order to build healthier relationships and more supportive environments at schools. Each workshop culminated with the group creating posters to express their thoughts and feelings around this difficult topic. To get updates on our most recent work - check us out on Facebook!
rouge, the anti-fashion zine
In spring 2014, the YAC chose to address the impossible beauty standards created by photoshopping in fashion and beauty magazines. The students created submission boxes to collect anonymous answers to questions they posed about self-love and people's perception of their own beauty. These boxes were left in locations that might stir up issues of body image - a theater's dressing room, a counseling office, beside a restroom mirror - and the anonymous submissions were later collected and assembled into a printed magazine of body positivity, alongside art pieces created by the students in response to the topic. The YAC passed out free copies of the zine, along with snacks and music, at the zine launch party.
voices @ 440, the poetry slam
In spring 2013 the YAC developed a project addressing the issue of budget cuts to the school district. This issue affected all of the students and there had been a huge amount of anger and frustration over this issue. The anger was acutely felt by the students, teachers and families who felt their voices were not being heard by the school district administration and the School Reform Commission. The students on the council decided to provide a peaceful, creative alternative to express themselves. The YAC hosted a poetry slam on the steps of the School District building on 440 N. Broad Street called "Voices @ 440" and invited students and teachers to share their thoughts and frustrations through poetry and song.
violence in the media, the documentary interview series
Also in spring 2013, the YAC explored the question of how viewing violence in TV, movies and video games effects perceptions of violence in real life. Students filmed a series of interviews with various North Philly residents, asking each of them about violence in real life versus in the media.