In 2015, the Urban Creators piloted the REGENERATION program in collaboration with the Mural Arts Guild, which successfully helped reduce recidivism by 20%, (17% amongst graduates compared to the national average of 35%), as well as Part 1 Violent Crime which has dropped by 40% since 2008 in the immediate area surrounding Life Do Grow Farm.
The REGENERATION program is designed to improve the overall public health, safety, and equity of North Philadelphia by engaging at-risk and formerly incarcerated young people as pioneers in the revitalization of their own communities. We provide court involved youth with transitional jobs & workforce training, and together we transform blighted landscapes into dynamic safe-spaces, urban gardens, public parks, and hubs for local innovation and community mobilization. Through this process, we are helping our youth partners reintegrate into, and redefine their roles within the community, while cultivating a more sustainable and civically engaged urban eco-system from the ground up.
The true value of REGENERATION is its hyper-local and hybrid impact on public safety, health, and civic engagement. By rooting REGENERATION in a local context, where all staff, participants, and projects are concentrated within the same neighborhood, we are able to foster the necessary intimacy to help our youth partners navigate the re-entry process, and provide them with the leadership and skills training to pursue their passions and meaningful career opportunities. By transforming vacant land into urban gardens & public parks, we are reducing crime through environmental design while improving access to fresh food, recreation, community gathering, art, and celebration on a block-by-block basis. This way, the neighborhood becomes our classroom, the streets our canvas, and our hands and minds the tools we use to uplift our community".
summer youth leadership program
The Urban Creators Summer Youth Leadership Program is designed to empower young people from our community with technical skills, critical analysis, communication skills, and diverse social networks.
For 6 weeks, we engage a group of 15-20 teenagers in full-time work at Life Do Grow farm, engaging them in a range of food & social justice workshops, community design exercises, carpentry, landscaping, agriculture training, community organizing, and public events. Through this process, our youth partners set and achieve personal goals, develop technical skills, improve their communication styles, expand their social networks, and participate as leaders in the revitalization of North Philadelphia.
youth action assembly
In July 2016, Philadelphia hosted the Democratic National Convention. In the months leading up to the DNC, we became increasingly concerned with the lack of youth engagement in the convention, and began building a vision with many of our allies to address that this issue.
Our collective goal was to amplify the voices of our next generation of young leaders, have an intergenerational exchange, and work together to devise action plans & public policy to address these issues at a systemic level.
On July 26th & 27th, in collaboration with 28 Philadelphia based organizations, youth programs, and city agencies, the Urban Creators successfully hosted Action Assembly. The conference engaged over 600 Philadelphia youth in a series of artistically inspired, youth-panel discussions designed with the intention of inspiring inter-generational dialogue and collaboration between our emerging youth leaders, adult allies, and local political leaders.