CYS' Voices of Compton Project Commencement



Ever wonder why the end of an educational journey is called a commencement?


As one thoughtful attendee at the virtual commencement of the CYS project noted, “This isn’t an end, it’s a beginning!” Under the leadership and creative force of CYS’s Pat Parker, "Voices of Compton" celebrated its successful conclusion of original student compositions around the theme of non-violence by celebrating its participants.


Launched in late April, “Voices” provided iPads donated by generous friends of CYS; partnered students with professional teaching artists from AIYN members Jail Guitar Doors, artworxLA, Street Poets, and mentors from Southern California Crossroads; and engaged students in a month-long project to create their own lyrical and musical productions.


At a time when students and their families were stressed by enforced isolation and idleness, CYS stepped in to provide the opportunity, the digital arts technology, and the one-one-one mentoring to encourage storytelling and artistic expression. In the intensive workshop atmosphere, new voices were discovered, new relationships formed, and — at a time when they are most needed — the truth, honesty, and courage of youthful expression was added to our culture.


Our thanks to all our partners who participated and made Voices of Compton a success, and helped provide a model for future projects. To view the project’s official video, created by Next American Media Makers, click here.

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