Melanin Uprising is a youth-led collective in Washington D.C. We are seven individual leaders who identify as young, Black, and radical. Melanin Uprising's mission is to create spaces for youth to discuss, process, and combat oppressive forces that cause trauma in the Black community. In doing so, we hope to inspire a generation of strong, resilient, self-actualized leaders who advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers. 


We believe that investing in the education and mental and emotional health of

Black youth make our mission possible. Melanin Uprising, as a program and a

growing community, challenges the misconceptions that society has about

young people -- that we are unable and unequipped to do led movement

building work in our own communities. 


The beauty of Melanin Uprising is six youth, with the support of the community,

are creating and implementing lesson plans, hosting poetry slams and organizing community service projects that are accessible and geared toward Black youth. We trust each other enough to talk about our specialized oppression (ageism, sexism, white supremacy and capitalism) as Black youth. 


One of the most powerful forms of resistance is believing in yourself. Systems of oppression are so effective that Black youth are not given the tools to recognize their own value.


Melanin Uprising does the work to dismantle the psychological impact of ageism, white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism by creating space for Black youth to critically think about systems of oppression and find a solution. We had to believe we can organize a protest, speak about youth issues on the radio, lead a community service project and/or facilitate a conversation on racial justice in order for us to do it. We are collectively recognizing there's a problem and are beginning to believe in our ability to solve it. Many of the Black youth in DC struggle with self-esteem issues and do not believe they already have the tools they need to be self-actualized. Melanin Uprising exist to create opportunities for youth to actualize their power and believe they can do anything they set their minds to accomplish.

Melanin Uprising