WHAT IS AGENTS OF CHANGE?
Agents of Change is a culturally relevant arts education curriculum that incorporates naturalist knowledge into an experiential educational survey of the five elements of Hip Hop. Agents of Change ties in the exploration of the natural world with the arts through provocative dialogue and creative learning to engage marginalized youth in cultural practices, character development, and teamwork. It has been shown that strong correlations between both culturally-responsive arts and nature education can significantly: 1) Decrease the rates of ADHD, hyperactivity disorder that disproportionately affects people of color; 2) Reduce violence and recidivism; and 3) Improve mental health, school engagement, and self-confidence.
The curriculum takes places in 6-hour sessions over a period of 5 days. To support the next generation of environmental leadership, our program will offer a $100 artist-in-residence stipend to all youth who will participate. As a deliverable for the stipend, by the end of the week youth will create an art piece related to what they’ve learned that can be used to share their experience and educate others. In addition to hands-on instruction and time to create art in an outdoor environment, we will also facilitate dialogues between youth participants and large environmental NGOs like Greenpeace and Sierra Club to bring awareness about the environmental challenges that communities of color face. The program will be held at several East Bay Regional Parks locations. The 10-12 youth participants in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade will be recruited by HH4C through its MC program that is already operating in Oakland School Districts.