Dream Deserts To Oasis
Cultivating Passion, Leadership, & Talent
Problem - Dream Deserts
A concept we developed called Dream Deserts, which is the system youth fall into when they are unable to pursue their dreams due to lack of opportunities, knowledge, and support. When they fall into this system youth began to switch into “survival mode”. The leading causes include;
Lack of Local Entrepreneurs
The majority of brands black & brown people wear are not made by people that look like them. These brands are made by people who could care less about us, blatantly disrespect us, and often unaffordable by the average person. For example, Gucci released their blackface sweater that heavily offended the black community. We saw a need for a positive entrepreneur role model in our community youth could relate to because entrepreneurship is not a promoted pathway in our communities.
Lack of Safe & Inclusive Spaces
TGi serves communities across the Southside of Chicago such as; Englewood, West Englewood, Chicago Lawn, and Gage Park. In these communities, we noticed a lack of safe and inclusive spaces for the youth. There are no youth centers, few after school activities and a lack of ownership and pride in the community.
Solution - The Oasis
The Oasis is a safe and inclusive space where youth have the opportunity to cultivate talent and leadership and connect with other youth across neighborhood boundaries. The Oasis is not only a concept but an actual space we have been curating Since 2017 by occupying a space called the “Boombox” during the summer. The boombox is a small storefront rented out to small businesses located in different communities throughout Chicago. Utilizing the boombox both as a pop-up shop and community space, and a space to host events like movie nights, open mics, live art, break dancers and more. We also offer employment opportunities for our youth at the events/pop up shop.