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Putting what we’ve learned into action and creating art

We’ve used the skills developed in the first three weeks and put them to action. Both the GEM Project and Abbott Leadership Institute (ALI) youth leaders/fellow began the development of their final projects.

ALI youth finalized their interview list and interview protocol in class, and scheduled interviews with family and friends independently. They began to develop content for the site, and by the end of the week had a series of video interviews, photos and poetry entries for consideration. The youth leaders also finalized the name for their website/project – The Pandemic Project: Newark Stories Un-Masked. The name and site is officially registered with Rutgers University.

The Gem Project fellows have been focused on planning their direct action and finalizing the parts of their issue briefs, which explores structural racism across three sectors: education, justice, and health. They also developed a page for their live event, which is taking place on

August 13, 2020 from 12 PM-2:00 PM. The event will be live on

The Gem Project fellows were able to share completed artwork that will be submitted into their virtual museum to launch next week. The artwork focuses on the sectors highlighted in their issue briefs: health, justice, and education. One part of the artwork is through an afrofuturism lens, while the other part is focused on the here and now.

In the LIT Poetry Resistance for the Abbott Leadership Institute fellows the youth leaders wrote poems that truly blew us all away! The one below is from Miriam…

Look around you.
What do you see?

A home. A TV full of stories.

Death. What is death?
Momma will I die?
I don’t want to die momma.

I want to live forever.
I want to save the world.

Momma why is the Police on that man’s neck?
Why is he screaming?
Momma… The man is screaming for his momma.

Where is his momma?

Momma look at all of these people marching.
It’s so sunny out.
Momma I want to go march with them.