UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center Programs
Objectives: “Aware, Articulate, Activated”
The objective of the UPC is to creative a better community and world by helping youth and young adults become aware, articulate and active leaders. To create changemakers, community builders and social entrepreneurs by providing opportunities for young people to become aware, articulate and activated. We see our young people as one of our most valuable untapped resources, and we provide an outlet for self discovery, positive expression and development that is a needed alternative to self destructive, anti-social behaviors, crime and violence. To transform youth from passive consumers and spectators to active participants and producers.
Meeting youth where they are, building authentic relationships, cultural relevance and social competency is at the core of our model. Relevant culture – including music, arts, sports, fashion, technology and entrepreneurship – is a key ingredient of our youth centric programming. UPC programming focuses on the interests of young people and we use the center as a place for dialogue and discussion. We provide youth access to the equipment and resources necessary to grow and learn in positive ways. Additionally our network represents over 100 organizations with whom we are working with in various capacities.
Through partnerships to implement innovative program models in arts, technology and entrepreneurship the UmojaFest P.E.A.C.E. Center seeks to provide educational programs in the performing arts, digital media and social entrepreneurship which fosters positive, experiential learning alternatives for youth. Our programs were developed based on surveys of hundreds of youth from across Seattle. Youth expressed the desire for more positive outlets and programs. Many youth that are above the age of community centers have increased risks as there are fewer programs targeted towards them.
Community Building Events
Since its inception, the UPC has held several events at the site and throughout the community bringing together thousands people from across the northwest and nation. Through its various events, activities and programs, the UPC has mobilized, inspired and activated many in our community. UPC events offer a unique mix of education, entertainment, cultural awareness and civic engagement from weekly dinners to rally’s to candidate forums. Key annual events include the Seattle/NW Hip-Hop Leadership Conference, Green Organizers Mixer & Union Street Spring Fest, We Are Change Community forums, Malcolm X Day Conference & Music Fest, Young Voters League Candidate Forums, Umoja Fest summer celebration, Seattle Hip-Hop Career & Business Expo and more.
The Hip Hop Communiversity is a learning initiative started by a group of youth and supporters who felt like sitting around just talking about the school system wasn’t enough. So they started a school! The Hip-Hop Communiversity features recording and video production studios and classes in the Music Business & Social Entrepreneurship, Music Production, Politics & Civics, Video Production, Fashion Design & Merchandising, Science of Flow/Art of Emceeing, DJing 101, Event Planning & Promotions and more.
Sew Beautiful Fashion Program
Sew Beautiful is a youth empowerment program for young women of color, dedicated to the exploration of fashion and pop culture media careers. The mission of Sew Beautiful is to promote the fashion arts and encourage entrepreneurship, education and mentorship. Our goal is to help raise awareness, and offer support through activities, mentorship and discussion. Sew Beautiful seeks to build self-esteem of young women, broaden their creative minds and help empower their true beauty within. Participants get an up-close view of the fashion industry with opportunities to meet and work with some of Seattle’s industry experts and get a glimpse of the fashion industry.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In addition to serving 100-150 youth per week through our affiliated program we recently completed a strategic planning with the Office of Economic development allowing us to clarify.
Our current needs including operating funds to stabilize our program and upgrade our facilities including replacing a hot water heater, installing a new furnace and upgrading our technology labs with hardware and software.