Newark, New Jersey – September 2020 – Through an 8 week summer enrichment program at The Gem Project, Inc., up to 45 enrolled youth had an opportunity to explore how structural racism has impacted the Black community across education, health, and justice — along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “The Education Gap: COVID-19, Racial Discrimination and Strict School Policies”
- “The Impact of Racism on the Education System and Students of Color”
- “The Effects the Healthcare System has on Minority Women”
- “The Contagious Petri Dish of Prison Health Disparities”
- “The Dehumanizing Ramifications of Wrongful Convictions”
- “The Systemic Link Between Police Brutality and the Black Community”
- “Mass Incarceration & The Cycle of the Return”
Its publication followed a two hour youth rally led by youth organizers of The Gem Project, where they spoke virtually with activists, criminal justice reform professionals, policy fellows, elected officials, hospital executives, and the community.
Mia Legaspi-Cavin, Gem Project Board Secretary, said at the youth rally, “The policies that are the most dangerous to youth are the ones that try to control young people.”
Councilwoman LaMonica McIvr said in a talk with high school and college Gem Project fellows Kynise Dixon and Faith Christian, “Being involved and understanding politics is the core to change we want to see,” continuing, “It is very important for young people to get involved, to learn who their representatives are and about the political process.”
Amanda Ebokosia, CEO of The Gem Project said the following about the summer program, “We are truly proud of what our youth have achieved. While the program itself was extended by two weeks by the City of Newark’s Newark Youth One Stop, our fellows completed the bulk of their work in 5 weeks.” Ebokosia added, “As they make the most their new learning spaces, it is our hope that the public takes advantage of the resources they created over the summer at https://thegemproject.org/rally2020.”
ABOUT THE GEM PROJECT
Founded in 2006, The Gem Project serves to boost high school to college student engagement through youth organizing, employment, peer-mentoring, and service-learning initiatives that take on a social justice approach. The Gem Project has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Forbes.com, Black Enterprise, and highlighted by the Barack Obama Administration on the White House Blog, for youth-run initiatives.