For Black History Month, Visit.org’s blog will be highlighting partner organizations that promote racial equity for the Black community.
A.I.R. Project is a Visit.org nonprofit partner that empowers youth and young adults who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) through education, art, and positive social experiences. In this Q&A with Karisma Pleasant, the organization’s founder, we find out the variety of ways A.I.R. Project supports youth, especially in the Black community, and how corporate teams can get involved.
How does A.I.R. Project support the Black community?
Our organization uses expressive arts to raise awareness and address various forms of abuse and violence such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, bullying and other forms of abuse that is perpetual in our Black community.
Is your org commemorating Black History Month this year, if so, how?
In addition to other projects, this year we have a group of diverse youth who will be creating social media postings highlighting individuals and contributions from African Americans and the diaspora that are not often discussed in the media or in America.
Students at A.I.R. Project pose with in-kind donations (Pre-COVID).
How can the public get involved with your work? How can corporations make an impact in particular?
The public can get involved in various ways, such as becoming a volunteer to help strengthen our mission, assist with capacity building, providing professional services, getting their youth to join our Junior Advisory Committee, fundraise for our organization, participate in virtual and live activities and outreach, select our organization for employee match programs, donate in-kind products, host a charity event for our organization, monetary donations, tell your employer about us, add our organization to your Amazon Smile account, add our organization to your Randall’s or Krogers rewards program. Corporations can also become sponsors for our annual events and sponsor our Art of Love program offerings as well as developing community partnerships.
In addition to being involved with your organization, what are some other ways people can observe Black History Month and support the Black community this year?
People can get involved by supporting not just Black Owned (for profit) Businesses but also by supporting Black Founded Non-profits as we are businesses too. People can also research and learn more about our culture and not just what is presented in the media or taught in State schools. Have an open mind to understand that most of the negative things presented about us is 95% untrue and that we have a rich, strong, and diverse culture and people should have an open mind to know that we are beautiful, we are strong, we are intelligent, we are creative, we are passionate, we are nurturing, we are spiritual beings, our lives matter, and we deserve true freedom and fair and equal access to succeed which means providing solidarity and financial support for our businesses and communities to thrive too.
To facilitate a corporate volunteer experience with Start Small Think Big, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cover photo courtesy of A.I.R. Project
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