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Orlando Empowerment 2016

In the early morning of Sunday, June 12, 2016 the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida became the center of the worst mass shooting in American history. That morning 49 souls lost their lives. An additional 53 were injured. Latinx people were primarily targeted in this crime against the LGBTQI + community. I personally was reeling from the incident. Searching for some way to be a verb and do something to empower LGBTQI + young people who were in confusion and pain. To show them that LGBTQI + lives are beautiful and honored. That the actions of hate cannot darken their light.

To be a verb, sometimes it means reaching out.

CBS News

CBS News

Thankfully, author, television writer, musician and journalist, Paula Yoo (read amazing blog post), connected with us. The result was an AMAZING outpouring of books from authors and organizations from across America. Never Counted Out was honored to be one of the first to join this impact campaign. Sending books and extending future free book talks/workshops to the Orlando Youth Alliance. In their 25 year history, they have empowered over 1,500 LGBTQI + youth.

Their mission:

  • To provide a non-exploitative, safe, drug and alcohol free, social outlet for youth ages 13 to 24 who are grappling with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning issues.
  • To be proudly diverse by opening membership to youth without regard to sexual orientation, gender, religion, race or background.
  • To serve as an educational and referral service for GLBTQ youth of Central Florida.
  • To educate parents, academia, health care workers and other human service professionals about the development and diversity of sexuality and sensitize them to the reality and needs of the GLBTQ community.
  • To facilitate in the development of the GLBTQ youth and to empower them to become leaders in the community.

Today is the one month anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting. While I still grieve what was lost that early morning, I take hope in the flood of books that are now being read by the young people in Orlando. Anyone who would like to be part of

#PrideToThePage or #SpreadTheLGBTQLove

simply connect with Never Counted Out. We’ll suggest other communities in need. And while we cannot take away the loss or the pain, but we can empower a generation that will be our future. All the best and rock the word!

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Co-Founder, NCO

 

Movie + Music = Unlearn Stigmas

Becca Cala of Ontario, Canada is a straight talking, raw emotion, violin playing member of the Creative Revolution. She is also someone who has been in and out of shelters before being diagnosed with ADHD, Tourette syndrome and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Her journey has not been an easy one but —

She made music her outlet. A two minute film Beauty Behind Becca directed by two 12th grade classmates, Natasha Boshoff and Suaad Issa, won the Change The View 2014 competition. As of this post, the video has over 270,000 hits on YouTube.

The thing that makes this remarkable is that these three teens used art as a means of communicating big truths about mental health issues and stigmas we associate with them. Also, co-director Boshoff confessed that she had been one of those people to judge Becca’s larger than life behavior. “I had changed my opinion about her so much, maybe others could change their opinion about her as well if they just knew who she was,” she shared with an Oakville news outlet.

Through making the mini-documentary, Boshoff was able to unlearn the stigma and meet Becca the person, not the personality she had made up .

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Beauty Behind Becca allows us to be informed, empowered and entertained. Check out the video, pay it forward and as always, welcome to the Creative Revolution!

Navajo Teen’s Film Screens At Whitehouse

Post by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

When I heard about the Whitehouse Student Film Competition back in November 2014, I was beyond excited to see how young people would make art into revolution. Out of 1,500 films, only fifteen movies are selected.

Now, celebrate with one of the winners, Keanu Jones, who has proven that picking up a camera and sharing your world’s truth can get the attention of so many people including the President of the United States of America. Rock on, Keanu!

Welcome to The Creative Revolution!

 

Just Dance Like No One’s Watching!

Sometimes you gotta shake it like your mamma gave you EVERYTHING! Peyton “Peanut” Henderson is the epitome of living in the moment. Every movement lives and breathes a surrender we can only hope to have in this world. I have mad respect for this young man for living large and just dancing like no one’s watching because now we all are. Thank you, for getting your brave on!

We All Fall Up (Documentary)

It started in Houston, Texas…A brainstorming session created a crew called K.O.R.O., Knights of Rhythm Odyssey. Mario and Blas speak it into reality.

Usual suspects on suspect streets introduced others, a scrapper named Sergio, an innovator named Ricky and Shadow, a guy whose feet I have yet to see touch the ground. The foundation was Hip Hop, House and Jazz.

Jazz men where jazz lived in no ones vocabulary. Music was the movement, expression was the goal. Not knowing words like legacy, tradition, longevity they danced because that is all they had.
Words by Marlon Lizama

This is e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (co-founder) of NCO on today’s blog, and I am PUMPED! I sifted through the morning email Inbox to click on a smokin’ Vimeo link from filmmaker Andrew Benavidas out of Houston.

Let me get a shout out for Houston, please!

A’right, a’right, a’right.

Now, Andrew sent me a trailer link for the documentary We All Fall Up. The film chronicles how a group of Houston at-risk kids chose to embrace breakdancing and hip-hop to make it out of a trouble situation. From the streets of Texas to India, Asia, Europe, Mexico and more, the Havikoro Crew serves as pop-snapping, hip-whipping, body collapsing, shake-it-like your-mamma-wants-to proof that anyone can raise the roof on their dreams. These youth on the fringe found an out using the art of street dance!

Word to the move!

It is important to note that Havikoro’s journey has also been about paying art forward. Teaching workshops all over the globe and inspiring other young people who have sometimes never met an artist.

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Image by Andrew Benavidas

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Selfie post-workshop in India Image by Andrew Benavidas

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Sharing that young women can dance, get an education and be strong. Image by Andrew Benavidas

These at-risk kids chose dance instead of guns. Chose empowerment instead of crime. And they’ve done their time in freedom and art and made this world more powerful. For a bunch of kids who didn’t even know they were allowed to dream, they’ve made the last two decades evidence that art can inspire.

Check the trailer because the images and the spoken word is slam-brilliant.

And as always, welcome to the Creative Revolution!

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