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Meet Changemaker Challenge Partner Creative Reaction Lab

Creative Reaction Lab was founded in support of the Uprising in Ferguson. Today, Creative Reaction Lab is building a youth-led, community-centered movement of a new type of Civic Leader: Redesigners for Justice. They hold to a foundational belief that systems of oppression, inequality, and inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050, Black and Latinx communities will make up almost 40% of the United States population, many of whom are currently youth. Yet, these communities face disproportionate racial and health inequities that limit social, economic, and cultural growth. While Black and Latinx youth want to improve well-being for themselves and their families, friends, communities, and culture, they currently feel unheard, unsupported, or excluded from opportunities to amplify their power and work toward liberation.

This is where Creative Reaction Lab thrives; they acknowledge that youth historically have been undervalued architects of change and culture. We believe that if we equip Black and Latinx youth with consciousness, community and power, then they will have the capacity to design interventions that will dismantle existing racial and health inequities; thus co-creating a society that embraces humanity, rights, and power of Black and Latinx people.

Through our partnership, studnets participation in the Changemaker Challenge will provide support to two critical programs:

YCLF (Youth Creative Leadership Fund) Creative Reaction Lab’s Youth Creative Leadership Fund was launched out of the need to protect Black and Latinx families being disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in the United States. By providing $100 microgrants for youth, their families, and their communities: categories included self-care, creative projects, or passing it on to an individual or organization in need. As of July 2020, the microgrants have provided 241 youth leaders under the age of 26 with $25,700 in emergency funds. With the support of the Bezos Foundation, Creative Reaction Lab is extending the YCLF program to biannually support Black and Latinx youth to produce creative projects that address hyperlocal racial and health inequities.

REFRESH (Redesigning Education for Racial Equity and Social Healing) Redesigning Education for Racial Equity and Social Healing is an intergenerational civic engagement program for educators and Black, Latinx, and Indigenous youth to address hyperlocal racial and health inequities in cities across the United States. Through Creative Reaction Lab’s Equity-Centered Community Design framework, educators will support youth in a project-based, anti-bias/anti-racism curriculum. Educators will guide middle and high school-aged youth to co-create community interventions that challenge racial and health inequities. They will shift power to youth leaders and in education structures to support cultural consciousness and social healing. In response to COVID-19, the 2020 inaugural REFRESH program will focus on food access, digital redlining, and reimagining the education system.

To learn more about Creative Reaction Lab and get involved with their work, visit www.creativereactionlab.com