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About The Program

In collaboration with ExpresArte Cultural Wellness Collective, the Black Youth Empowerment Program creates a network of Black leadership across the Central Valley, and advances Black wellness, education, creativity, and empowerment of the Diaspora. Participants will receive a $300 award for completion of the program and a welcome package. 


The program is focused on the following three goals:

  1. Understanding Self: Hold Space for Black Central Valley High School students to learn about their identities, histories and wellness, as well as to celebrate themselves and their own excellence. 

  2. Building Community: Creating a network of young Black Leadership rooted in the Central Valley.

  3. Arts & Culture: Students use arts and culture to express and self-reflect on their personal journeys.

​As part of this program, students will engage in a creative project that asks students to produce an artistic work such as a short story, a series of poems, a painting, a photographic essay, a collage, a sculpture, a musical composition, a film or video, etc., in response to a content element of the program. This project will serve as a reflection of students' personal growth and learning throughout the program.

Meet The Previous Cohort >>

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Program Details


  • This is a five-week summer program beginning June 27, 2023 and ending July 27th, 2023

  • Program sessions are held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 pm - 6 pm (with the exception of Wednesday, July 5th in place of Tuesday, July 4th)


  • Must be a current high school, continuation school, charter school, G.E.D school student in the San Joaquin Valley or recently graduated from one of these institutions as of 2023

  • Must identify as Black and/or African American


  • Deadline to apply was Friday, June 2, 2023 at 11:59 pm.

  • Applications are closed and will re-open March 2024.  

  • For any questions or accommodations please contact us.

Program Curriculum

Session 1: Introduction and Terminology 

Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2023 | 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Students will create group guidelines and begin to build community with each other through team building exercises and icebreakers. They will learn key terms (such as microaggressions, intersectionality, decolonization, and colorism) which will serve as a foundation for the following sessions.

Meet The Leaders


Julianna Swilley (She/Her)

Co-Director of the Black Youth Empowerment Program for Central Valley Scholars


Monique Hall (She/Her)

Co-Director of the Black Youth Empowerment Program for ExpresArte Cultural Wellness

Have additional questions? Contact Us. Black Youth Empowerment Program Terms And Conditions.

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