If Youth Ran The City of Newark

Feb 27, 2020

Student Nickicia Fraser's artwork in Global Arts exhibition @ Great Oaks Legacy High School
Credit Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

If the youth ran the city of Newark, what would they change? Students of Great Oaks Legacy Charter High School are answering this question. Sophia Domeville is educating the youth in Newark on how they can create the world the way they would like to see it and using art as the gateway to realize what is possible.

While in South Africa, Domeville, established the framework for a cultural immersion program. The Global arts program is focused on developing critical thinking skills through art projects. All projects for must align with the basic concepts of social justice and youth activism beyond traditional art design.

Domeville is using her work at NYU to innovate different ways to teach young people about social justice through different mediums of expression. The students of Great Oaks are making the connection between local and global issues. The class is helping ninth grade student, Nickicia Fraser and others to fully understand their power as youth.  

what I have specifically learned is that you have a voice, what you say can be used against you, so you have to make sure that -- especially at this age -- like right now I'm 14, and like, I need to know that I need to use my voice in order to get the things that I want.

Students of Great Oaks with Global Arts teacher, Sophia Domeville. (from left to right: Justin R. Pressley, Kalila Scott, Jayla Fudge, Global Arts teacher, Sophia Domeville, Nickicia Fraser, and Courtney M. Hunte.
Credit Brit Harley / Newark Public Radio/WBGO

The program has also supported students like Justin Pressley, to discover new parts of themselves. Sophomore student, Courtney Hunte, envisons a healthier Newark that includes more trash cans and animal shelters.

For the remainder of the school year, students will be exposed to the history of global art and design, literature, performance, and the influential cultures of Africa, Paris, and India. Domeville’s global art students have already learned so much about their history and are inspired to create change in the city of Newark.