We empower youth in underserved communities, from all backgrounds and abilities, to use their unique voices to advocate for social justice and change through the power of music. By raising young people’s voices, we aim to inspire youth with the message that they can become successful adults with a positive vision of the future.
Our aim is to enhance student achievement by developing real-life skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, habits of inquiry, and curiosity about history and our global society.
WHO WE ARE
MeMA-Music was established in 2011 as a 501 (c)(3) organization by 20+ year music industry executive, Jeanne Warsaw-Gazga, on two basic principles:
- A deep conviction that young people have the potential and vision to change the world.
- The exploration of socially conscious music can become the vehicle for the self-expression of young people’s values and beliefs.
Our team of educators developed a multidisciplinary academic arts program that takes students on a journey through socially conscious protest music—past to present—immersing students in landmark events of the times, including the extraordinary experiences of the young people and their pivotal role in changing society.
Our integrated, standards-based Social Justice curricula strategically connect content and develop skills across multiple subject areas including ELA, social sciences, media arts, technology, civics, social-emotional learning, and music.
Our lessons and activities build students’ understanding of how artists have crafted messages of social change that encourage speaking one’s truths. MeMA’s arts-integrated unit teaches students to examine the fundamental questions of economic and social inequities, moral values, civic rights and duties, and, the quest for peace.
Our Voice Your Soul unit closes with individual and/or group culminating arts-infused social justice projects, created by students and based on personal interests, presented en masse as a showcase in the school auditorium, giving students a chance to feel proud of their accomplishments.
- Reach students who are not otherwise being reached
- Customizable standards-based lesson plans with student-centered activities, rubrics, and instructional resources
- Content relevant to today’s controversial world
- Assessment tools to measure student outcomes and program success
- Culminating social justice-themed projects featuring multimedia, visual art, and creative writing—songs, rap, poetry, mock trials, skits, and live performances
- Teaching Artists at the top of their profession from video production to hip hop
WE GET AROUND
MeMA-Music has been empowering thousands of young people all over the Chicago area to take a stand in creative, and positive ways since 2012. 98% of students in our program reported feeling more engaged in class and felt their social justice projects helped them learn how to create and present powerful messages and have their voices heard.