Living In The Hyphen

"Meet me at the Bridge" Bridging the gaps that exist in society to promote equity, change, unity, awareness, and empowerment.

Photo of Bijou B

Written by

Date Started

January 9, 2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Now more than ever we are polarized and divided. Living in the hyphen is a place of engagement’s, interaction, and connectivity to ensure that individuals are sincerely au fait with the realities that hinder the growth, development or success of others in ones community, in ones circles of influence and in your interactions such as lack of opportunity, and experiences; and be a part of the counter hegemonic movement for change.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

“Living In the Hyphen” is an initiative and campaign where we foster the idea of authentic leadership, proactivity, communication, self esteem/ confidence, tolerance, critical thinking, goals setting, time management, teamwork, public speaking and problem solving; to encourage individual success, encourage Individual development, embrace an inclusive environment, reward innovative excellence, support our community and to promote change, growth, solidarity, and equity. “Living in the Hyphen” exists to engage and introduce the idea of Civic leadership and developing a voice and story to enable environments of truth, diversity, and inclusion. It acknowledges the opportunity gap that exists in the community and schools and facilitates programs and opportunities for individuals to be exposed and engaged in different environments and programs that can allow for discovery, exploration and expression of self.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Through this initiative we can ensure for a consistent standard of service through professional capabilities and through insight and local knowledge. Through this campaign amazing leaders and Individuals can apply skills, expertise, passion and resources to enable change and find sustainable solutions to local and global issues; by sharing and engaging strengths and abilities through support of local community initiatives, through sustainable development goals and by working strategically for the purpose to inspire confidence and empower. Individuals will have the opportunity to explore the issues that exist in the integral parts of our interactions. It exposes many individuals to civic duty, civic engagement and community outreach to illustrate public service.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The hyphen is the unification of, it acknowledges the need or lack that exists and creates a space for inclusion. The hyphen is the bridge. The bridge is where the interconnectivity of humanity exists.This initiative would be the first of its kind in promoting civic engagement and engaging a multicultural and multigenerational environment to speak truth to power, facilitate communication through expression and story, and looking for real and realistic ways to engage political participation, community outreach, educational exploration, and give power to the youth beyond the classroom setting.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

How I plan to know that I and the people on my team are making a difference is when people will risk being popular for the sake of being relevant when it comes to fighting and promoting change, and speaking up against injustice and disruptive attitudes, practices, and behaviors. When people are unafraid to speak their truth and story, and when people understand the power that they hold in dictating the life they live, the power they hold in facilitating their future, and the urgency and necessity of truth, leadership, civility and humanity in our interactions and thoughts of each other. When we begin to see more people go out and follow their visions. Visions that are fueled and embraced by passion to focus their energy and purpose not on fixing and fighting yesterday, but on building and growing something new right now and for tomorrow. Success is succession.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We would like to engage the Superintendent in allowing this to become a school wide leadership program opportunity, we would work on community projects such as STEM day initiative and the first ever Business day for middle schoolers in the community. These initiatives are to bridge the exploration and opportunity gap in schools. We would facilitate transportation to voting polls and provide voting information sessions and awareness. We would have multicultural and multigenerational TED Talks to engage a plethora of conversations on leadership, equity, change, growth, awareness, inclusivity, and mindfulness. We would also integrate this leadership and equity workshop in the Girl Scout community, and many other initiative for change.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Resources that we would need include a website, a location to meet, and funding for materials needed. We would need permission from the superintendent and education board. We would also need local, and state government participation.

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We have engaged family members, and members of a non profit women's advisory board, we have engaged teachers, and principles along with the CEO of girl scouts and the girls scout organization. We have engaged several organizations, friends and families. We talked to many of these individuals and members of our community about our vision, and they offered their support. They also connected us to a network of people in the Greater Washington area, so that when we were ready we have an extensive platform of resources at our disposal. We attended local community meetings and utilized networking as the key to exposure in the community.

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

8 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 25%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 62.5%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 37.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 37.5%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 25%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 12.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 12.5%

1 - This entry is weak here - 12.5%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 50%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 37.5%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 12.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%


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