Planting seeds

Be a Leader: PPGJLI 5th Annual Community Celebration


Youth can make a difference in the world. They can lift their voice for justice and build a vision for the future of the betterment of society. Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute (“PPGJLI”) is committed to providing young scholars with the tools to become leaders who build a more just and inclusive global community. In furtherance of this goal, we are excited to announce our 5th Annual Community Celebration will be held virtually on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, from 2-3 p.m. This year’s theme is “Be A Leader” and celebrates service and community.
PPGJLI’s mission is to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach has experienced immense success over the past five years. The organization has achieved several milestones – donating over 7,000 books to children, inspiring over 5,000 children with visits to schools, and 30,000 participating in PPGJLI virtual readings.

2021 programs and initiatives
This year marked the beginning of exciting new programs and initiatives. We are excited to announce the launch of Aya’s Place, our new nurturing and creative space for artists. AYA (pronounced as “eye–ah”) is part of adinkra – visual symbols linked to the (former) Gyaman kingdom and Ashanti culture. Aya translates as “fern,” and symbolizes endurance, resourcefulness, and defiance against oppression.
At Aya’s Place, those passionate about racial justice and healing can pause, reflect and grow. They can have the space they need to connect with their inner artist and reimagine themselves and the world with clarity. This initiative was created in partnership LiLu Interiors.
We also will provide updates on our Black Doll Project which focuses on helping children to discover their beauty and unveil their limitless potential. We are seeking to create opportunities for Black children to see a reflection of themselves in the world around them through their toys. This visual inclusion will foster positive self-esteem and promote self-respect in our future emerging leaders.
We will feature a special book reading from our PPGJLI Youth Writing Competition winner Zephaniah Martin. This talented 10-year-old author wrote “Jaheem’s First Kwanzaa.” His book has been recognized as an Amazon bestseller.

2021 Excellence in Education honorees
We will be honoring four outstanding community leaders with the Excellence in Education Award:
Sheletta Brundidge is an author, autism advocate, podcaster, radio host, and Emmy Award-winning comedian. Brundidge is the founder of the online podcasting platform Three of her four children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and she works to educate and inspire parents with special needs children.
Jules Porter is a leader, lawyer, game developer, and founder of Seraph 7 Studios. Seraph 7 Studios is a changemaker and among the top social venture companies dedicated to empowering and compelling change in gaming, education, and underestimated communities. She is developing a three-year work-study program for the Twin Cities area for high school students to teach them how to create video games.
Bella Sawyer started her own book club on Facebook, Bella’s Book Club. Bella is an avid reader and shares that passion with others. She highlights and reads some of her favorite books each week. Through this learning experience, she inspires her peers to discover the joy of reading.
Crown Shepherd is the author of the book “Black Boy, Black Boy” for ages 7-10, a social entrepreneur, and a diversity advocate. The book enables African-American boys to see themselves in a positive light in a variety of roles. She is the author of fiction, picture books, and comic books. Her books feature Black protagonists and she is focused on sharing stories that give a voice to the voiceless.
We value you as a member of the community and invite you to join us in this milestone celebration. Your support allows us to continue the path forward to making a positive impact on the world around us. Together, we can continue moving towards achieving our goal of inspiring 100,000 youth to become leaders.
For more information, please visit:
Through her organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, Dr. Artika Tyner seeks to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach.


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