Malika Whitley: How the arts help homeless youth heal and build
Malika Whitley - Arts curator, activist
Malika Whitley is an arts curator and activist in Atlanta, Georgia. Full bio
that small block of time
for that sweet moment of escape.
homelessness as a teenager.
for stability and sureness,
everything you own in your book bag
you're allowed to sit in any given place
lost herself to mania
as its primary scapegoat
that homelessness was safer for me
I joined Atlanta's 3,300 homeless youth
to walk off the street
thought of homelessness
squalor and inconvenience,
full of clothes and schoolbooks,
a few hours of sleep
disappeared into the shadows of the city
had gone terribly wrong.
almost completely broke my spirit.
I had the arts,
in exchange for refuge.
when I felt at my lowest.
on Wednesday evenings
the arts gave me,
where the only thing that mattered
the right note in the song
to give myself permission
I started my organization, ChopArt,
arts organization for homeless minors.
as a tool for trauma recovery
about building community
in Atlanta, Georgia,
in Hyderabad, India, and Accra, Ghana,
elements of the arts,
ChopArt provides for them to do that.
uses the arts to step into their light,
is not an easy one.
for over three years.
every Wednesday evening.
seize and die right in front of them.
failed to revive her.
to their ChopArt mentor, Erin,
an extra pair of clothes on their way out.
and resolve in ChopArt
whatever she could
the arts as the entry point,
our homeless youth population.
between medical bills or the rent.
of painting through ChopArt.
most of her teenage years
for her young shoulders.
with the rest of her family.
what you've been through.
to stand in your light
About the speaker:Malika Whitley - Arts curator, activist
Malika Whitley is an arts curator and activist in Atlanta, Georgia.
Why you should listen
At age 6, Malika Whitley began to experience homelessness with her family, then on her own at 16. During her homelessness, she found the arts as a tool for resistance from fully succumbing to the hardships of youth homelessness. After her experience, Whitley founded ChopArt, which is a multidisciplinary arts organization for homeless middle and high schoolers. Her work has been internationally recognized, as well as highlighted in Atlanta's local media. Most notably, Whitley has been named in Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch", and ChopArt has been featured in Atlanta Magazine and on WSBTV. To support ChopArt's teens, please consider sponsoring a full year of programming for a homeless teen here.
Malika Whitley | Speaker | TED.com