Founded in 2015, You Are A Star NFP is an organization with a lofty goal – to make all children equal in the eyes of the community, the school system, and the media. In Chicago, where our work began, violence is the leading cause of death among young people of color; not accidents, or disease – violence. Many children see nothing but negativity, when they see their race portrayed at all, across most media channels. And, with the rise of the internet, this trend seems to be only getting worse.
At You Are A Star NFP, we envision a world where children of color can view positive, uplifting examples everywhere they look. Examples set by people that look like them, who come from where they come from, and who experience the world just as they do – just without the negative. Our focus, in fact our entire reason for being, is to put examples for children of color to emulate right in front of their little faces. By staging plays in schools and churches, we’re able to tale the remote away, remove the mouse entirely, and get the children to escape with us to magical and fantastical places where empowerment and inspiration go hand-in-hand.
As the children get sucked in to the story, they forget about society’s misconceptions and prejudices and get lost in a world where the color of your skin is nothing when compared to the content of your character. They see that who they are is much more than skin color – a lesson society hesitates to teach. We reinforce it again and again throughout our presentation to show the children that there are role models to be found of every color. We want each and every child to know there are people who care about them, who are interested in their welfare, and who want them to find spiritual and emotional well-being in their lives.