Amplifying black youth’s voices with new writing project, ‘Celebrate Black Joy!’

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NEW ORLEANS– A local non-profit, 826 New Orleans Youth Writing Center in the Seventh Ward is helping to amplify black children’s voices in a unique way. They are calling on other young voices in our community to be heard with a new writing project called, “Celebrate Black Joy.”

6-year old Naomi Pulphus is celebrating joy with 826 New Orleans. 826’s Program Director, Kyley Pulphus is Naomi’s mom.

“We wanted to honor and celebrate the fullness of black life. We wanted to carve out a space specifically for black youth to come and share stories of happiness, things that bring them joy,” Pulphus said.

The project starts out by downloading “The Joy List” from 826 New Orleans’ website. Then the children write down a list of things that bring them joy. After that the kids can turn everything on the list into a story, and then the story becomes part of something bigger.

“We partnered with Be Loud Studios to amplify these kids voices. They become part of a mini-podcast that you can listen to by calling Be Loud Studio’s hotline,” she said.

Now this project goes deeper than just kids sharing what makes them happy.

“It is important that there are images in the world that show black children just being children and their joy is the same as all children. With what’s happening in the world right now, the world is filled with images of black trauma and pain, but we are more than that,” Pulphus said.

“826 New Orleans wants to show we see you, hear you, celebrate everything you love and hold dear. We want other people in the world to be able to see it and celebrate that as well,” she said.

You can call the hotline at Be Loud Studios, 504-571-9809 to listen to these recordings.

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