On Friday, October 11, 2019, the young people from Mobilizing Youth to Nix Tobacco (MYNT)* of Fresno County, in partnership with Amplify!** ( African American Statewide Coordinating Center), presented the “Building Our Future” Open Mic Night.
Charged by recent events and Big Tobacco’s track record for targeting youth, young adults and communities of color, MYNT responded to the Truth Initiative’s call to #ditchJUUL by creating a cultural moment to stand up for the health of young people, their community, and their future.
Held at the John W. Dodson Theatre in Bitwise: South Stadium in Downtown Fresno, “Building Our Future” Open Mic Night was a smoke-free and vape-free night of community, culture, and creativity! We invited those in the creative arts community to come and showcase their gift in:
– Spoken Word/Poetry
– Or other creative art forms
The evening was Co-MC’d by MYNT members Michael Solorio and Breonna Haileselassie who kept the audience engaged and energized throughout the evening. In between sets, members of the coalition used intermissions as an opportunity to talk about their initiative and how they got plugged into the movement of tobacco reform, and to invite the community to be a part of the work they are doing. At the end of the evening, there was a call to action for those in the audience to sign-up on the vaping cessation texting service provided by Truth Initiative. Our team of young people did incredible work that night and, hopefully, the Central Valley will be able to breath free and fresh with MYNT.
*MYNT is a youth leadership coalition from the Central Valley that is motivated to reduce tobacco-related health issues that impact the African-American community through advocacy, education and cultural moments.
**Amplify! provides statewide technical support to community initiatives advocating for Tobacco Reform for the African-American community throughout California by “fostering a legacy of physical, mental and spiritual wellness.”