Compton Mentor Fellowships

Fellowship Awards in 2006

Andrew Block - Vassar College

Project: Facilitating Youth Organizing for Racial Justice

Seattle, Washington

Andrew will facilitate the communication and collaboration of Seattle youth working on racial justice issues. In this effort, he will research and analyze anti-racist youth coalitions in several cities to identify organizational models he can expand to Seattle. Andrew will produce a resource guide that Seattle youth can use to increase the effectiveness of their anti-racist projects, which include educational programs and community initiatives. Andrew's mentor is Martin Friedman, a Trainer and Organizer at the People's Institute Northwest.

Virginia Cooke - Clark University

Project: Community Needs Assessment with Former Banana Plantation Workers in

V will work in Nicaragua with a community of former banana-plantation workers running a needs assessment process.   Most residents of this squatter community in Managua have been afflicted with a variety of diseases as a result of working with a highly toxic pesticide. V’s mentor is Kathleen McBride, Director of the Center for Global Education.


Marcus Elston - Berea College

Project: Girot Music Revolution: Shifting the Direction and Message of
Popular Music

Dallas, Texas

Marcus will spend the next year in Dallas, Texas working to ameliorate the negative effects of mainstream music, especially hip-hop, on African American Youth. The core of his project is developing positive alternatives, such as live spoken-word performances.  Marcus’s hope is for young people to see the negative effects of what is being projected through hip-hop and to find other means of self-identity.  Marcus’s mentor is Amon Rashidi, founder of J.A.M.S. (Just Another Means of Success.)


Alexander Nees - Princeton University

Project: Researching, designing and enacting a comprehensive ecological
restoration of Cottonwood Gulch

New Mexico

Alex will be enacting a comprehensive ecological restoration of a 540-acre property in western New Mexico, focusing on the Sawyer Creek Drainage and teaching hands-on ecology to students.  The property, owned by the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, has been used since 1934 as an outdoor learning laboratory for its programs in which environmental science plays an increasing role. By incorporating monitoring and restoration programs into the courses, the students will be immersed in experiential education in ecological principles.  Alexander’s mentor is Arch McCallum, naturalist at Cottonwood Gulch Foundation.


Donald Washington - Morehouse College

Project: The Peacemakers: Redeem the Dream Youth Leadership Program

Atlanta, Georgia

Donald plans to create an organization in Atlanta, Georgia, entitled The Peacemakers: Redeeming the Dream Youth Leadership.  The group’s aim is to train youth in the West End section of southwest Atlanta the components of progressive nonviolence and advance peace and conflict resolution within the community.  Donald’s mentor is Dr. Angela Campbell, professor at Morehouse College.