African American Youth Initiative

What is AAYI?


Value Statements

  1. We value the unique voice of each student and their active engagement with leadership and learning
  2. We value the power of authentic student identity fully formed through self-love, high worth and cultural history
  3. We value truthful, trusting, honest, and sustainable relationships that provide advocacy, role modeling, deep connection and a networked community
  4. We value a culture of belonging for all of our students where they feel safe, understood, appreciated, and empowered
  5. We value high expectations through fierce advocacy for ourselves and others
  6. We value persistence–never giving up
  7. We value the power of envisioning a successful future

Mission Alignment

  1. Mission of ʺƵ District
    To provide excellent, challenging learning opportunities and experiences that prepare each student for success.
  2. Mission of Closing the Achievement Gap
    To embrace and change, with deliberate speed, school practices, instructional methodology and school structures that perpetuate the achievement gaps in our schools

Mission Statement

The mission of AAYI is to empower and engage the African American Youth by breaking the educational, cultural, and social divide through advocacy and education that ensures long term success and stability in family, school, work, and community.


Event Pictures & Videos

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Students at Brass Elementary zooms with Mr. Marc Casey. Mr. Casey was the underwater camera technician for the movie. Mr. Casey assisted in filming 90% of the water scenes.

A video chat screenshot of Marc Casey speaking with a classroom of students.

A video conference screen shot of Marc Casey speaking with a classroom of students and three other staff members.


AAYI Summer Program 2023

AAYI Summer Program participants join in some “Charcuterie Fun!”

A closeup of a charcuterie with strawberries and pepperoni. A girl sitting near two charcuteries that she created. Fours students sitting at a table, building charcuteries. A student wearing a white Levi's shirt lifts up a charcuterie he is working on.

A student wearing a headband works on a charcuterie plate. A girl smiles next to her charcuterie featuring two pickles. A girl wearing glasses smiles next to her charcuterie featuring two strawberries on top. Two girls sitting at a table wearing glasses display their charcuterie creations.


Author Deanna Singh

AAYI hosted award winning author Deanna Singh at Mary D. Bradford High School. Mrs. Singh spoke to high schools students on a topic from one of her books titled, Purposeful Hustle: Direct Your Life’s Work Towards Making a Positive Impact. Several students stayed behind to talk one on one and ask the author more questions. One student shared the speaker, “was very nice and inspiring.”

Deanna Singh speaking to a group of students in the library. Wide shot of Deanna Singh speaking in the Bradford library. Close up of Deanna Singh speaking.

Deanna Singh speaking to students with a presentation slide behind her that reads "nothing will work unless you do." Deanna Singh speaks with two students after her presentation. Group photo of Deanna Singh with four KUSD staff members.


Black Student Union Gala

AAYI was invited to attend Carthage College’s Black Student Union Gala. KUSD students enjoyed dinner, dancing and hearing firsthand college life experiences.

Five boy students and a teacher posing at the gala. Four young women posing at the gala. Seven AAYI students posing at the gala.


Jacarrie Carr

Reuther and Harborside students met Mr. Jacarrie Carr, founder of Kicks4Kids. Mr. Carr provided a powerful message to Reuther and Harborside AAYI students sharing his story including challenges he has faced throughout life, “filled with setbacks but major comebacks.” One AAYI Lead shared, “Jacarrie’s story truly engaged and inspired the students attending. His message focused on education, settings goals and resiliency and how that was truly your keys to success.”

Group photo of Jacarrie Carr with students on the Reuther stage. Jacarrie Carr speaking to students in the Reuther auditorium.


UW-Parkside

View more pictures from UW-Parkside


DuSable Museum of African American History

View more pictures from the DuSable Museum of African American History


DJ 262 Annual Charity Week 2021

View more pictures fromDJ 262 Annual Charity Week 2021


City of Kenosha Kite Flight Community Service


Job Shadow Day at Colbert Packaging


Tradesman Shadow Day


Earth Day Uptown Neighborhood Cleanup


Kenosha Community Drive Up Baby Shower


Uptown Operation Community Cleanup


State Track Meet

Two AAFI students from Indian Trail competed in the 2021 state track meet. They both ran in the 4x100m and the 4x200m races.