By & For Our Communities

By & For is the creative incubator for Breakthrough’s Our Stories: In Vivid Color initiative.

Given the uncertainty of work opportunities for young creatives, we help facilitate their participation in the creative economy by commissioning artists and activists to share artwork, graphics, poems, articles or TikTok videos. Through these creative collaborations, we are able to offer curated storytelling and branding support to our young writers, podcasters, and other media-makers, along with access to a network of like-minded peers and various partner organizations to create media on their own terms.

Check out our collaborations below!

M.O.T.H.E.R. by Caela Collins

May 6, 2021

by Caela Collins (in dedication to my mother Valerie) Childhood Mother, mother there is no Other Together we share the same color Hair Even though there’s a lot of  Rules So what I think you’re cool!I Love You! Adulthood Most of all, I want to say thank-you. No matter how Overly elaborate the words of…

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By & For: Powerful Women in Activism

March 29, 2021

Everyone has an active role to play in addressing society’s injustices. For activists that make this work a primary focus of their lives, that responsibility can sometimes be greater, challenging even, but evermore rewarding. These women women explain what their activism work means to them, the process of that work, and how they take time to recover.

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A Woman: Poem for International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021

Poem Kai Adia Women have the audacity to birth new worlds With passion and honey on their tongues. This world would not move without women, They hold up half the sky. Reaching with their arms, they shout FREEDOM Into the heavens Raising unsung heroes From history’s sullen shadows. What is a Woman? Intuitive Connecter Emotional…

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Meet Nia Asemota: Artist Contributor to By & For

March 4, 2021

Cover art by Nia Asemota Nia Asemota is a young artist, technical instructor for Black Girls CODE, and contributor to By & For. “My artwork is the epitome of my inner personality- bold lines and bright colors. Through my cartoon realistic pieces, I seek to pay tribute to my dynamic cultural heritage as an Afro-Latina…

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Why Black Joy is Important According to 10 Young People

February 18, 2021

To demonstrate the power of Black joy, here are 9 Black people explaining what brings them joy and why Black joy is important to them; all participants answered the question: “What brings you joy right now? Why is joy important to you?”

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A Look Back at Representation in 2020: 8 Ways Black Hair Matters

January 11, 2021

Today, Black women are loving their hair unapologetically. We are creating and buying our own products from brands made “By and for Us.” Black hair is a story of resilience and the story has continued as a key topic of conversation throughout 2020. Yes, our twist outs, fros and low cuts are taking center stage as a representation of independence and strength. And yet, centuries of race-based hair discrimination has sparked the saying, “Black hair is not just hair.” Why?

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How To Effect Change Through The Political System

September 25, 2020

In wake of the killings of Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Aubrey, George Floyd and many other Black people killed by police, America is at its tipping point. It is totally normal to wonder how greatly our voices can shine in the midst of all this violence and a global pandemic. This country has been faced with generation after generation of racial, economic and social inequalities, so, how can we effectively improve the health of our society when faced with so many long-standing obstacles?

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Direct giving is our legacy. Ignoring that legacy is anti-Black

June 26, 2020

Our folks built special kinds of ecosystems amidst all the strategies of economic instability that antiBlackness necessitates.

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9 intimate photos exploring the meaning & importance of Black queer love

June 18, 2020

Black queer love, in and of itself, is a defiance to what a Eurocentric, hateful world views as worthy, beautiful, and acceptable.

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A Black woman navigates outrage over continued anti-Black state violence alongside the pandemic’s mental health challenges

May 22, 2020

Ultimately, we rely on community care.

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MCNP: Why Black hair matters & how it brings us joy

March 3, 2021

A conversation about Black hair and Black joy with Dr. Kari Williams, a passionate hair stylist and Trichologist.

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MCNP: Children of Incarcerated Parents

January 4, 2021

Founder of We Got Us Now, Ebony Underwood, shares the ways in which mass incarceration continues to be ignored throughout American history and how this topic intersects with the significance of Black hair.

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MCNP: Former tennis pro, Katrina Adams, tells us her post-election liberation dreams

October 28, 2020

Election day is less than one week away. Have you voted? More importantly, what are your plans to move this fight forward after you vote? Katrina Adams leads our conversation on the significance of generational advocacy efforts and change.

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MCNP: How athlete and activist Maxwell Pearce uses his platform to speak out against police brutality

September 16, 2020

As a professional athlete and current Harlem Globetrotters, Maxwell Pearce stands in solidarity as fellow NBA & WNBA players use their platforms to disrupt pro sports in wake of the Jacob Blake shooting by police.

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Expressions of Frida: Bella Canzano Examines Self-Love & Latinx Identity through Vibrant Art & Music

September 10, 2020

Bella Canzano is a Phoenix-based Peruvian/Italian American artist skilled in singing, songwriting, and illustration

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MCNP: Harlem Globetrotter Max Pearce talks sports activism in today’s climate

August 31, 2020

American actress and singer Vanessa Williams joins fellow Horace Greeley High alum and host Lauren Stockmon Brown to discuss the complexity of identity politics.

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Expressions of Frida: Eunsoo Jeong Turns Rage into Art

August 21, 2020

Chidi Asoluka and MCNP founder Lauren Stockmon Brown question how we can collectively liberate the minds of young people

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MCNP: Vanessa Williams talks ‘Bad Hair’, identity politics & navigating high school

July 28, 2020

American actress and singer Vanessa Williams joins fellow Horace Greeley High alum and host Lauren Stockmon Brown to discuss the complexity of identity politics.

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‘Expressions of Frida’ podcast on WOC artists & their impact joins our BY & FOR: A PODCAST COMMUNITY!

July 20, 2020

We are so excited to be an official creative collaborator for Season 1 of the Expressions of Frida podcast, an engaging series dedicated to highlighting the work of emerging womxn of color artists and discussing the impact of art in social movements! Every two weeks, we’ll post another episode hosted by Expressions of Frida creators…

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Season 2, Episode 5: Richard Pryor’s Smith College professor daughter & granddaughter discuss the ‘N Word’ & respectability politics

June 22, 2020

Famous 1970’s comedian Richard Pryor had his own journey around the “N word,” and current Smith College Professor, Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor explains how her father disavowed his own use of the word.

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VIDEO: Indigenous communities can’t defeat colonialism without fighting anti-Blackness

July 15, 2020

Blackness was and is considered expensive, yet indigeneity was and is not.

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VIDEO: The Stress of the Pandemic is Gendered. Our Response Has to Be, Too

May 26, 2020

This is just to say that this pandemic has heightened forms of violence that have existed before, and have especially increased for many, especially women and GNC individuals.

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VIDEO: Connecting with my ancestors showed me that healing is possible, even in a pandemic

May 13, 2020

With the guidance and wisdom of my ancestors and that of a supportive group of friends, my mother, and sister, I feel and know I am a better person than before.

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VIDEO: This Earth Day, remember that colonialism is the virus, not people

April 22, 2020

Indigenous Peoples have been able to co-exist and have intentional relationships with the Earth that span over a millenia.

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VIDEO: Black, Indigenous & POC are disproportionately suffering because of the U.S.’s slow response to COVID-19

April 21, 2020

All of this originates because of colonizing oppressive systems that continue to exploit resources from Black and Brown Indigenous Peoples within the US.

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April 14, 2020

Breakthrough is a non-profit organization that harnesses the power of media, arts and tech to spark radical culture change. We believe that those facing systemic barriers have the most effective ideas for a liberated future. The best pathways to a future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect are created by them and for…

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