Community Futures School

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Artwork by CFS artist, Alysse Brown

MOCHA’s Community Futures School (CFS), conceived in 2019 and first implemented in 2020, serves as a catalyst for creative youth development and leadership. This arts & technology-based program develops skills in design-thinking and hands-on visual arts in order to re-imagine a more inclusive and antiracist world. Based on insights from neuroscience research in learning and memory, this project uses Afrofuturism and futures literacy as part of a community-building toolkit to imagine and to implement an antiracist society. 

 

Why: Afrofuturism offers an alternative opportunity to reimagine a future where BIPOC people and youth exist and are thriving. Art is a central component within Afrofuturism. Futurism is based on Eurocentric representations. However, Afrofuturism often uses fashion, visual arts, literary arts, music, and artistic artifacts to rearticulate how the future is designed. 

 

What: Using Afrofuturism and arts centered practices as a lens to investigate, reimagine, and identify solutions that build a more antiracist, healing-centered, and inclusive Oakland in 2045. 

 

Who: Through the eyes of 75 high school aged youth in 2021, young people are guided in locating ancestral and community wisdom to design futures shaped by ingenuity and collaboration centered on positive social change.

How: In partnership with one of the nation’s leading Afrofuturist scholars and Associate professor at California State University East Bay, Dr. Lonny J Avi Brooks, MOCHA developed emergent, experiential, and purposeful programming centering and investing in BIPOC youth. We do this through the lens of Afrofuturism and creative inquiry because it centers a way of looking at the world in a more inclusive and liberating manner.

 

Outcomes: Youth improve skills in critical-thinking, problem-solving, community building, communication and they find their voice. With our support, they develop the confidence and self-esteem to continually create a personal life experience of accomplishing projects and being able to talk about their process with peers and other future community innovators. Using their agency, they become the signals for change in their community. This program will support our community’s mental health, provide spaces for restorative healing and build positive-oriented resilience.

Co-Directors

Contributors 

Guest Speakers

For more information: Contact Ashley Aaron, Community Arts Director ashley@mocha.org

Artwork & video by CFS artist, Syrus Rojas