Hello, One Nation One Project – GNV Partner:
One Nation One Project (ONOP) is a national initiative with Gainesville and eight other U.S. cities. The goal of ONOP is to use the arts and culture to promote community healing and well-being. This project unites artists, local governments, and community health providers.
The Education Equalizer Foundation is hosting an End Gun Violence Oratory Competition to showcase the talents and skills of 14-18-year-olds currently enrolled at The University of Florida’s Akwaaba Freedom School. According to Pew Research Center, “Black children, and teens were roughly five times as likely as their White counterparts to die from gunfire in 2021. There were 11.8 gun deaths per 100,000 Black children and teens that year, compared with 2.3 gun deaths per 100,000 White children and teens.”
The Freedom Schools aim to help youth understand the impact of gun violence, amplify young people’s visions for safe communities, and hold community members accountable for building and maintaining safer communities. The Education Equalizer Foundation will pair the youth with a writing coach and mental health professional as they share their knowledge regarding how gun violence affects them. We want our orators to increase their self-advocacy, overcome any public speaking fears, and improve their overall self-confidence. As a result, our young people will be equipped with the public speaking skills required for life after high school including joining the workforce and attending college.
Here is what we have accomplished thus far and what we are planning. Please save the following dates to get involved with this project.
Thursday, July 6, 2023 – EEF met with Akwaaba Freedom School Parents and Students
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – Akwaaba orators took professional headshots
Friday, July 28, 2023 – Education Equalizers took professional headshots
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 – EEF will host ONOP panelists and participants’ virtual orientation. Join the orientation here.
Thursday, August 2 to Thursday, August 24 – Akwaaba orators will meet virtually with writing coaches and mental health coaches
Friday, August 18, 2023 – Deadline for youth service organizations to submit participation requests. Youth Organizations Apply here.
Saturday, August 26, 2023 – Live event at Greater Bethel AME Church 11a-1p
What are some of the oratory discussion prompts?
“The Impact of College Mentorship Programs on Youth and Gun Violence Prevention”
“Education for Peace: College as a Tool for Breaking the Cycle of Gun Violence”
“Higher Education, Lower Violence: Exploring the Impact of College on Reducing Gun Violence”
“In Pursuit of Safety: How College-Going Communities Can Unite to Combat Gun Violence”
“Courage Rising: How Student Leaders Stand Against Gun Violence”
“The Graduation Pledge: Committing to a Future Free from Gun Violence through College”
“A Ray of Hope: Illuminating the Path to End Gun Violence through Higher Education”
“A Symphony of Change: Student Voices Resounding for Gun Violence Prevention”
“Ripple Effect: How College Education Creates Waves of Change in Gun Violence Prevention”
“Pathways to Healing: How College Education Offers Restoration in the Wake of Gun Violence”
All 3 minutes or less
What is the tentative program for ONOP?
Date: 8/26/23 Time: 11a-1p Location: Greater Bethel AME
2. Opening Dance from Expressive Song & Dance
3. Youth Vendors will share information about their programs
4. Mental health coaches and writing coaches will identify themselves.
5. Judges will identify themselves.
6. Oratorical Competition will begin
7. Cash Prizes will be issued
8. Ending Reception
What youth vendors are confirmed to attend?
100 Black Men, Aces in Motion, Akwaaba Freedom School, ARTSPEAKS GNV, Changing the Mindset, Inc, PEAK Literacy, Ramos Strong Motivational Group, The Education Equalizer Foundation, and United Way of Northern Central Florida.
Who are the mental health and writing coaches?
Eric Ramos Master of Social Work (Mental Health Coach)
Inga Gwaltney Alachua County Public Schools Guidance Aide (Mental Health Coach)
Kathleen Joseph Licensed Mental Health Counselor (Mental Health Coach)
Maisha Lassiter Master of Counseling Psychology (Mental Health Coach)
Dr. Shmeka Gibson I/O Behavioral Therapist (Mental Health Coach)
Ms. Vickie Holmes, Co-CEO MTE Publishing (Writing Coach)
Porshe’ Chiles Professional Writing Editor (Writing Coach)
Who are the judges?
University of Florida Professor of Political Science Dr. Sharon Austin
Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson
How will the judges decide the winners?
What are the participant and partner guidelines?
Please help us spread the word about this event. We want the community to support our young people and learn about the different youth resources available to prepare them for success.