Encouraging Leaders (EL) is an African American-based non-profit organization that has been at the forefront of empowering African American youths to gain leadership and income-generating skills through harnessing their talents. EL also impacts them with life skills to enable them to change their worldview and stay away from risky behaviors such as violence, radicalization, gang activities, drug and substance abuse, prostitution, only to mention but a few. EL was born due to the founder’s vision of an avenue where the youths of color can express their grievances and get recognition rather than violence.
The founders witnessed the youth of color undergoing violence and risking being killed due to the radical approaches employed by the youths. Hence, the founder has a vision of preventing one more youth of color from losing their lives. EL has been the anchor of the north Minneapolis youths by providing a safe space to be empowered and dream again. Some of the youths’ challenges included a high rate of poverty leading to school dropout and lack of equal opportunities, especially for the African American youths from lower socio-economic backgrounds. EL has made African American youths dream of a better tomorrow through a positive change of their mindset and pushing the need for educational accomplishment.
Youth Media Collective
Y.M.C. is a print and digital community news source and youth journalism training program in North Minneapolis. We seek to deepen understanding and empathy for the Northside through our deep, interrogative, and community-sourced journalism. Our goal is to expand local and Twin Cities-wide perceptions of this place, which is often reduced to a single, negative narrative – one of crime, poverty, blight, and disparity. We dig deep beneath the surface to lift up North Minneapolis’ nuanced truths. We are a source of great pride within our community.