By Clarisa James

July 13, 2014, 4:31 pm

DIVAS (Digital Interactive Visual Arts Sciences) for Social Justice launched STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) Camp last week for the second year in a row. The theme this year for the camp is the issue of gentrification in Bedford Stuyvesant. Youth ages, 7-12 enrolled in the camp are exploring the issue of gentrification through the mediums of digital media, robotics, 3-D printing, statistics and data visualization. The camp is taking place at the organization’s new home at Weeksville Heritage Center.

Youth at Weeksville Heritage Center

Youth at Weeksville Heritage Center

DIVAS kicked off the camp at Pace University. Professor Andrea Taylor and Clarisa James co-facilitated the first workshop in having youth research information about the community board, elected officials and community based organizations in Bedford Stuyvesant dealing with housing issues. Our youth also researched the definition of gentrification and found articles related to the changes the Bedford Stuyvesant. Another goal of the project is teach youth about the rich history of African-American culture in Bedford Stuyvesant. The group also visited the exhibit, “The Pursuit of Freedom” where they learned about Brooklyn Abolitionists and Activists who fought to free enslaved people at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Youth present at Pace University

Youth present at Pace University

In the upcoming weeks, youth will also be trained in financial literacy through our partners at Neighborhood Housing Services of Bedford Stuyvesant.

Kiyari Jaundoo photographs historic district of Bed Stuy

Kiyari Jaundoo photographs historic district of Bed Stuy

The goal of introducing our youth to this topic is for them to create an interactive installation project that will provide real-life based solutions through technology to displacement, a disadvantage of gentrification and also highlight the African American history of the community.

About The Author

Clarisa James is the Executive Director/Co-Founder of DIVAS for Social Justice, an arts/technology based organization that encourages youth in underserved communities to use technology for social change. Ms. James holds an MFA from the Integrated Media Arts Program at Hunter College, City University of New York. Visit her website at www.divasforsocialjustice.org

Clarisa James is the Executive Director/Co-Founder of DIVAS for Social Justice, an arts/technology based organization that encourages youth in underserved communities to use technology for social change. Ms. James holds an MFA from the Integrated Media Arts Program at Hunter College, City University of New York. Visit her website at www.divasforsocialjustice.org

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