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TRI's Theory of Change

When youth are provided with the social emotional supports, education, and resources to understand their power, identity, culture, ancestry and inherent genius, then they will have a greater sense of possibility and have the confidence and knowledge to engage civically, resulting in positive economic, civic and social change in their communities and city.

Our Programs

The Roots Initiative offers a number of year-round programs and activities for Black youth ages 11-14 years old. While all of our programs have parallel themes and goals, each has been designed with different levels of engagement to meet all of our youth where they are in the moment. 

Check out what we're up to below!


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.

TRI 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! 


Andre' Lamont Smith III Fellowship

In every school across America, there's a Black student that's repeatedly faced disciplinary action for their behavior. There's another one that's constantly being reprimanded by school staff because they "talk too much".


In actuality, these young people that have been unjustly labeled, targeted or silenced have the potential and talent to be an Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X or Lorraine Hansberry. These young people are the budding and future leaders who belong in the Andre' Lamont Smith III Fellowship.

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