CREATING LOVE AND CONNECTIONS
In 2010 Oakland Unified School District created The Office of African American Male Achievement (AAMA) in order to increase the quality of life and literacy rates of African American boys and decrease chronic absence, academic failure, incarceration, and recidivism. Historically they've been the lowest achieving group in Oakland Unified School District followed by African American girls.
AAMA’s mission includes an ambitious effort to redefine the singular narrative of African American boys in Oakland: sagging jeans, bad attitude, fatherlessness, violence, drugs, trauma, and hopelessness instead of beauty and brilliance along with natural human imperfection. We partnered with AAMA in 2013 to photograph children as they were to show a 360 degree scope of Black life on social media, flyers, books, reports, and posters.
This is what we made:
In June 2016 AAMA expanded and created African American Female Excellence to give our friends, daughters, sisters, aunties, mothers, and grandmothers hope. AAFE is in its third school year now holding classes across Oakland Unified School District and hosting youth forums and community circles to find solutions to sex trafficking, low literacy rates, suspensions, and toxic school culture while building self compassion, sisterhood, and love.