Creating a Culture of Affirmation

The SHINE is a ground breaking national storytelling and community transformation initiative that empowers young men of color across the country to share their wisdom and transform the systems that are meant to support them. To implement this narrative-change strategy, youth in select cities across the United States are trained to conduct and record interviews with their peers and then translate their community’s voices into videos, books, art, music, exhibits, and public events. They also aggregate the data collected in interviews, then present their findings and recommendations to stakeholders, including schools, law enforcement, and policy-makers. By unifying the local community around specific goals related to boys of color, and empowering the youth to tell us what is working, what they need, and how they will deliver on those needs, we create a culture of affirmation that allows these young men, their communities, and our nation to fully thrive.

The SHINE model is based on the 5 P’s:

Partnerships – Build, strengthen and unify local and national support networks
Process – Engage in transformative project-based learning and expression programs
Products – Produce high-quality art, trainings and other products that erode institutionalized racism
Policy – Inform and direct policy that affects youth and their communities
Participatory Research – Provide much-needed data to inform future research and decision-making


By amplifying a positive narrative about young men of color, we dismantle stereotypes and create the foundation for respect, hope, and the ability of these young men and their communities to thrive.

Angela Childrens Shine Pg

The SHINE is a top project in the Children’s Wellbeing Initiative. Click here for more.





TEDx PaloAltoHighSchool

To learn more about why teaching through stories is important, watch Angela Zusman’s TEDx talk here.








Mississippi Today‘s, “Changing the Narrative of Young Black Men in the Delta” discusses the launch of a project which “addresses school discipline, juvenile justice and the negative profiling of young men in the Delta County.” Read the full article here.



Press Pg Sunflower Interview

Story For All and The SHINE have partnered with Sunflower County Systems Change on a community based change approach that addresses school discipline, juvenile justice and media narrative of young men and boys of color. To learn more, watch this interview on NABJ-TV’s Metro Morning Live with Chellese Hall.



The Shriver Brief, “Advocates are Building a Model to Disrupt the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Mississippi – and Beyond, ” by Janerick Holmes.





Students Learn to Rock Rights,” by Kathryn Eastburn of The Greenwood Commonwealth.





Contact us to learn how you can join this movement and support The SHINE in your community today.

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Locations of The SHINE:

Hayward, CA

Jackson, MS

Sunflower County, MS


 “The SHINE program gave me numerous opportunities to find the leader in myself, working collaboratively with others to achieve a goal worth fighting for. I enjoyed my shine experience as I saw myself come out of my shell by telling my story and being unafraid and unashamed to do so. The Shine let’s me shine on!”   ~SHINE participant, Robert B.