GREENSBORO, N.C. — There’s a lot to love about the city of Greensboro. But there are some areas that need improvement.
“Like many other cities, there are disparities that exist that disproportionately impact black youth and black young adults,” said Zitty Nxumalo, a lead facilitator for Deftable, a Greensboro-based consulting business.
And this summer, amid the COVID-19 health crisis and social unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Nxumalo and three of her friends knew it was time to do something.
“All four of us are black young adults who grew up in Greensboro,” said Nxumalo. “And so it’s natural that we would have an affinity for that group.”
Over the summer they founded the non-profit organization We The People International.
“Youth– especially in today’s age—learn through entertainment,” said Brandon Davis, one of the group’s co-founders. “They’re on Instagram, YouTube, every social media platform, and all of these platforms are designed to entertain. And we’re out here, we’re trying to teach them, but we’re trying to teach them in outdated methods.”
The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro was one of We The People International’s earliest supporters.
“Ideas without capital remain just ideas,” said Nxumalo. “And so we have to have an initial investment and initial capital to be able to get anything off the ground. Funding matters.”
We The People International hosts in-person and virtual events geared toward black youth. It also has an initiative called ‘People over Politics’ which takes a musical approach to education.
“When you’ve got something cool — something they can sing along to, some dancing — it makes you want to move and it makes you want to learn at the same time,” said Anthony Morgan, another co-founder.
People Over Politics is a musical compilation that uses music and dance to motivate and uplift young people.
One called “I Won’t Let it Stop Me” is about voter suppression.
“The big picture goal is to convince members of the community that are affected by politics, and those things that involve in politics, to get engaged,” said co-founder Latasha McCorkle. “Being members of the community, it is very important to show what it looks like to engage in the type of success that can come from it just by using your voice.”