Zephaniah Martin Wins PPGJLI's Community Creates: Youth Literature Program

By: Planting People Growing Justice
 
ST. PAUL, Minn. - July 8, 2021 - PRLog -- The 2021 Communities Create: Youth Literature Program winner is Zephaniah Martin for his book "Jaheem's First Kwanzaa." The initiative is a program of the nonprofit organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute (PPGJLI).

"At Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, we use the arts and humanities as our framework for community building and engagement," said Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of PPGJLI. "We provide opportunities for storytelling with the goal in mind of promoting cultural preservation and sharing about the history of the African Diaspora."

The activity is made possible with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (https://mrac.org/) through the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund. Kinara Park Kids (https://kinaraparkkids.com/) served as a corporate sponsor. The theme for the competition was Kwanzaa. As the winner, Martin will receive a $200 cash award, 10 copies of his published book, and he will be honored during the PPGJLI's annual community celebration.

The competition was open to Minnesota residents ages 8-17 who are of African American descent. The PPGJLI (https://www.ppgjli.org/) is committed to promoting literacy and fostering cultural preservation. The event was established to celebrate African American culture and heritage.

Inspired by the Kwanzaa values of unity (Umoja) and purpose (Nia), the writing competition provides a unique art-based cultural development opportunity. Youth that experience art and humanities opportunities demonstrate improved reading, verbal, math, and problem-solving skills for success in school and later in life. The skills are a central component of multicultural understanding and acceptance.

PPGJLI also writes and publishes literature that addresses social justice issues encompassing racial disparities in education, healthcare, and criminal justice to create awareness. The organization's children's books provide African American children with representation and teach them about their rich history.

Congratulations are in order for the winner of The Community Creates: Youth Writing Competition. Community voices shape the future and are critical for preserving cultural history. The competition is one more way that PPGJLI is helping to create the leaders of tomorrow and planting the seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach.

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