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Oakland Green Youth Media Arts Center: A Creative Empowerment Hub

Nominated by P. Simran Sethi

"At the heart of green everyone has the right to life and livelihood,” says Simmy Makhijani from the Oakland Green Youth Media Arts Center. GYMAC is a former homeless shelter-turned-creative hub that equips young people in Oakland, California’s marginalized communities with the tools to directly address some of the most pressing issues of our time. The center features video and audio production facilities, a dance studio and series of community classes designed to encourage young people to tell the stories of their communities. Through artistic expressions ranging from hip-hop to a small urban garden, GYMAC unites young people under a common cause of understanding and sustaining their communities while promoting values of nonviolence and low-impact living.

Link to a video my class made on GYMAC: Greening the Arts (5:15min)

Official GYMAC pages: and

Image Credit: Photo via Art in Action

P. Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist and professor at the University of Kansas committed to a redefinition of environmentalism that includes voices from the prairie, the inner city, and the global community.

Editor's Note: This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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