Breaking The Silence: Mental Health Awareness Among Boys and Men In The East African Community

With an upsurge of public discourse surrounding mental health issues, more attention is being drawn to the fact that boys and men of color are more likely to be affected by mental illness. One organization in City Heights is working to combat this. “Silenced conversations around mental health and a lack of investment by the […]

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Without borders in San Diego

The U.S.-Mexico border is an arbitrary and fluid division for people with lives rooted in both worlds. A San Diego art exhibit featured artists works exploring the concept of being borderless showed writer Andrea Morín about herself. “We are all trying to be better every day at what we set out to do. We all […]

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Art in the collective voice

In just nine months, 18 young women from the City Heights community in San Diego built a body of photography and writings that explore identity and contemporary women’s issues. Called “Collective Voices,” these young people came together each Friday night through the AjA Project and produced collaborative, self-exploratory images and narratives. “This installation recognizes the […]

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‘We were strangers once, too’: photo profiles of undocumented youth

Media has the power to help us hear and understand the voices and stories of undocumented and unaccompanied minors, and at the same time relate what’s happening on in national policy. This photo essay has profiles of undocumented youth and information and analysis of DACA and other policies at play for undocumented families. The title is from a speech President Obama gave […]

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Homeless of City Heights speak about change

The AjA Project’s YAC Youth Media team set out to measure the impact of social investments aimed at improving communities in City Heights that are suffering economically and health-wise. Beyond looking at rates of poverty and unemployment, they wanted to explore how individuals perceive change in their communities and quality of life, and what kinds of things residents believe […]

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Program turns skateboarding’s stigma upside-down

At Skate 4185!, a community-based program in City Heights for youth, kids kids utilize their skateboarding prowess while participating in trash cleanups. The combination of engaging kids in their hobbies while serving the broader community helps keep safe, positive and on task. “What I like about this program is that you get along with people you don’t know, meet new people, and go on […]

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Bahati Mamas: refugees making a new home through farming

The Bahati Mamas are a group of five Somali Bantu refugees living in City Heights who started their own farming business. Forced by the civil war in Somalia to seek refuge in the United States, the women eventually started an organic farming business, and for the past five years have sold produce at the City Heights Farmers market.  Their refugee status helped […]

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Crime mapping: efforts to improve safety in City Heights

Online tools like SpotCrime and Crimemapping.com produce information about the locations and frequency of criminal activities, helping law enforcement strategize about where to direct resources. Mapping crime also helps inform community members and keep them vigilant, and Hoover High School students are developing a method to report crime in the City Heights canyons. Read about the new media of crime mapping on AjA Project.

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Encouraging art, in the street

What is the difference between vandalism and art?  The Graffiti Education and Mural Arts Program is transforming graffiti from a rebellious act of vandalism to a legal art of individual expression.  “This is to create awareness in the city as far as graffiti goes…it’s not always bad.  Graffiti is often part of youth’s search for identity.”  Read more […]

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