Tanesha Peeples founded The Roots Initiative with the sole purpose and passion to help heal, build and liberate her community. While she wasn't sure of the "how" at the time, she knew she wanted to create spaces for youth to thrive in their genius as the next generation of leaders.
As a faithful injustice interruptor in the education advocacy arena, Tanesha fought relentlessly for Black kids to receive the education they needed and deserved. While the battle felt dispiriting and seemed hopeless at times, the how and why became more clear as she navigated personal and professional experiences in the space.
Over time, Tanesha realized that deep-seated opposition to true liberation could only be combatted through the power and radicalism of the grassroots.
This grassroots resistance and transformative change is deeper than public protests against racial injustice. It's a resistance that emanates from the will to live and thrive. It's rooted in cultural awareness, wellness, joy and, most importantly, radical love.
And with that purpose defined, The Roots Initiative found its mission.
The Roots Initiative (TRI) exists to activate Black youth to drive transformative civic and social change in their communities and beyond.
We envision thriving, self-determined communities actualized through youth empowerment and genius.
Our Foundational Principles
Cultural Identity Restoration
Who we are and whose we are are vital tools of empowerment and resistance in navigating where we want to go as a community. TRI hones in on the sacredness of identity and intersectionality through the exploration of historical movements and current lived experience to chart the course for self-determined communities.
Social & Emotional Wellness
Providing safe spaces that prioritize healing is critical to enhancing self-esteem, awareness and self-efficacy. TRI incorporates restorative practices and partners with wellness entities to support our leaders' increased ability to manage trauma, emotions, and improve social skills.
Building Collective Responsibility & Power
We're reclaiming and rebuilding The Village by creating spaces that promote belonging, connectedness and opportunities to build community with peers. Additionally, through our Purposed Pathways Pipeline, TRI works to enhance youth academic achievement, create access to high quality schools, and provide insight into leadership and career paths through hands-on mentorship and internship opportunities.