Give a Beat was started as a positive way to energize the dance music community around the devastating impacts of mass incarceration and find innovative solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Using music as our common bond, Give a Beat is deploying programs and working on campaigns that give communities grappling with incarceration hope for a better future.
Since our initial launch, we have had a lot of success with our DJ workshops with the help of our extensive network of professional DJs who volunteer for the program. In 2015, we did 4 workshops, serving 60 participants and doubled our impact in 2016 with 12 workshops, serving 80 participants. Recently, we hired a new director, DJ Missy B, a creative and dynamic personality who brings her comprehensive experience as a DJ and producer into spearheading our program.
Give a Beat’s DJ Workshops for youth are offered in collaboration with our existing partners, A Place Called Home, Everyone Deserves a Chance, The Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club, Girls Rock Detroit, Arts for Incarcerated Youth and Homeboy Industries. The workshops are designed to promote self-confidence, empowerment, individuality, and healing from trauma. They also celebrate and encourage positive forms of self-expression through dance music.
Our collaborative partner organizations specialize in serving vulnerable youth who face multiple challenges towards following a positive life path. Many of the youth participants come from underserved communities that are grappling with poverty, crime and gang culture, over-policing, and incarceration of a family member. With the immense and varied challenges that these youth face, we have found one commonality of hope. Expression through music and dance can foster positive connections and be a powerful force in inspiring a future that breaks the cycle of poverty and incarceration.
We have an extensive network of professional DJ’s that volunteer for the workshops and we are always looking for more! Please contact us to learn more and get involved!
“On a New Track”
Founder of Give a Beat, Lauren Segal, worked hand in hand with expert mentor program advisor, Dr. Dustianne North (PhD, MSW), and advisory board member, Sean Wilson, to build the “On a New Track” mentorship program which bridges a critical gap for previously incarcerated youth to leading productive lives and building successful careers. Read about our development team below.
Our program provides support to youth ages 16 to 24 who are transitioning out of the juvenile justice system. As mentees participate in this initiative, they develop trusting relationships with caring adults and gain communication and social skills while building their confidence and self-esteem. Our program also provides mentees with an emancipatory curriculum as we believe it is important for youth to understand the struggles and the victories of the artists and activists that came before them. This curriculum also helps mentees remove a sense of self-blame for their challenges and instead feel empowered so they will not fall victim to a system that sets them up for failure.
Since our mission is to energize the dance music community around the mass incarceration crisis, we have designed our program to connect mentees to professionals in the music industry to serve as their mentors while exposing them to creative careers in the music industry and new opportunities to work in these fields, resulting in improved employment outcomes.
The program will be broken down into several phases beginning with basic life skills such as an interpersonal skills assessment, self-esteem building, and career building skills such as resume writing and computer literacy. Mentees will be introduced to a variety of potential jobs within the music industry that may range from customer service, music technician, graphic designer, or the possibility of becoming a self-employed DJ. Areas of interest and types of work mentees gravitate toward will be discovered through meetings, exploratory work, and studio time. Later, specific job responsibilities are broken down into the most basic, common skills that mentees may already possess or could easily acquire.
Since confidence building is a key component of the mentorship program, mentees are encouraged to develop self-awareness around their personal abilities, talents, and interests as they learn how to apply these assets toward productive outlets that are both personally fulfilling and life-enhancing.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor or just learning more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentor Development Team:
Dr. Dustianne North - PhD, Social Worker, Scholar, Activist
Her social services work has focused on direct services, as well as training and technical assistance, for programs servicing youth and their families in highly distressed situations (youth in poverty, foster care youth, youth on probation, homeless and runaway youth, children of prisoners).
Sean Wilson - Give a Beat Program Associate
As a member of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Sean joined Give a Beat to spearhead our mentorship program. He earned an associates degree in business management and liberal arts as valedictorian while incarcerated. His TED Talk in 2014 entitled, “Fear,” explores the trials and tribulations of his life and how everyone has the potential to reinvent themselves.