The Reclaiming Our Origins Through Story (ROOTS) Project is the narrative component of the Sunflower County Systems Change Project (SCSCP). The SCSCP is a community-based systems change approach that addresses school discipline, juvenile justice and media narrative of young men and boys of color (YMBOC). It is a partnership effort between the ACLU of Mississippi, Mississippi Center for Justice, Sunflower County Consolidated School District and its P-16 Council that began in 2015.
The R.O.O.T.S. of Sunflower County is presenting a traveling museum exhibit at key museums in the Mississippi Delta and in our state capitol. The first exhibit will be at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS March 30 through April 28. The exhibit sheds light on the experiences of young people growing up in the Mississippi Delta. The stories were collected by nineteen African American young men who make up the R.O.O.T.S. team. A full schedule of the museum exhibit is below.
“Disrupting the school to prison pipeline takes more than just policy change,” said Aisha Carson, SCSCP Advocacy Coordinator for the ACLU of Mississippi. “Narrative change is key to reducing stereotypes and increasing opportunities for young men and boys of color. What we’ve been able to do through R.O.O.T.S. is to lift up the authentic and affirmative voices of young men of color. Their stories provide a springboard for impacting change across the state and across the country.”
Meet the young men of R.O.O.T.S. and view a short documentary of their journey during a special reception that precedes each exhibition. All events are open to the public. To RSVP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601-354-3408.
SFA designed and facilitated the project in collaboration with the ACLU and MS Center for Justice, and also curated and produced the exhibit, documentary and data report, all of which will be viewable on our website and partner websites in the coming weeks. On March 27, Story For All’s Executive Director, Angela Zusman, will co-present with the ROOTS team at Delta State University’s Winning the Race Conference and again at the BB King Museum Opening on March 30th. Stay tuned!