March 23 2015

Last Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the boys and young men of color (BMoC) with Fresno Building Healthy Communities launched the “I AM” Project which was borne out of the young men’s frustration with being stereotyped as gang members, troublemakers and dropouts.  Through the poster series, our Fresno BMoC are reclaiming the narrative and asserting their power – “I am more than a statistic. I am more than a stereotype.  I am ready to make change and am challenging the way Fresno looks at boys and young men of color. I am ready to lead the way.  We are Fresno BMoC.” Learn more about the “I AM” Project here: www.fresnobhc.org/bmoc

“I AM” by Marco Ocana

I am the subject of one of the posters. I am hope, but the same thing could be said about my brothers.

I am optimistic, in spite of the many struggles and obstacles that I face and that my brothers face in this city, this state and this world.

I believe we will transform our city because we are working together, and I acknowledge that the battle for social justice takes no rest. I believe the spark of possibility leads to the fire of hope which leads to change. And we invite you all to join us…to change the way young men of color are usually viewed and to see us for what we truly are: we are loving fathers, we are ambitious, we are artists, we are cultural connectors, we are caring, and yes, we are filled with hope…just to name a few.

This is who I am. The poster project presents who we are–in our words, through our feelings and with our images. We are telling the real stories about ourselves.

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