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Empower Black Youth

We are The Roots Initiative

Centering youth leaders in their IDENTITY.

Grounding youth leaders in their PURPOSE.

Immersing youth leaders in their HISTORY.

Engaging youth leaders in their COMMUNITIES.

Our Programs


The Roots Initiative Freedom Fridays

Because there are a limited number of safe spaces in which Black youth can have fun, just be, learn about themselves and build community, we've created TRI Freedom Fridays!


TRI Freedom Fridays offers a "pop-in" and "pop-up" space throughout the school year for Black youth, hosting activities that restore hope, encourage wellness and joy, celebrate diversity and inclusion and more! 

Summer Liberation Lab

Imagine a universe where Black youth are given the space and opportunity to let their genius run wild and, coupled with resources and collaboration with their peers, they collectively reimagine and realize communities that allow them to thrive. 


Our Summer Liberation Lab is that universe for youth to do just that. Find out how we're nurturing youth voice, brilliance and vision as tools for radical community transformation.

Andre' Lamont Smith III (AL3) Leadership Fellowship

The Andre’ Lamont III (AL3) Leadership Fellowship is The Roots Initiative’s flagship offering.  In this extraordinarily unique space, we use liberatory, project-based learning and take a holistic approach to leadership development, honing in on the importance of cultural identity, social-emotional wellness, and collective power as tools to help inspire Black youths’ motivations and pursuit of transformative change. 


Our Mission & Vision

The Roots Initiative (TRI) is driven by a powerful mission: to activate Black youth as the architects and leaders of transformative civic and social change in their communities and beyond. We believe that, when youth are provided with the social-emotional supports, education, and resources to understand their power, identity, culture, and inherent genius, then they will have a greater sense of possibility as well as the confidence and knowledge to engage civically, resulting in positive economic, civic and social change in their communities and city.


Rooted in our values of cultural and identity awareness, social-emotional wellness and collective responsibility and power, we will bring our vision of thriving, self-determined communities actualized through youth leadership and civic engagement to fruition.

Hear From Our TRI Tribe Leaders!

Get ready to be inspired! In this powerful video, our incredible youth share their heartfelt thoughts and reflections on our founder and the meaningful work we do at The Roots Initiative. Their voices are a testament to the impact of our organization and the importance of empowering the next generation. Tune in and join us on this journey of growth, empowerment, and community upliftment.


Our Partners

Working With the Best

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