Many say the youth are the future and that’s how the Harambee Learning and Cultural Center was formed, to give a space for local youth.
“When I was volunteering on the Humboldt County of Office Education, there was a high need for support for suicidal ideation and awareness of how do we get this information out so that we can teach the youth in high school to support their younger siblings or actually be a mentor in the community,” said Valetta Molofsky, the Cultural Director and Mentor for a youth council.
The Harambee Learning and Cultural Center is a space for young people under 25 years old to seek wellness, and organize and host events. Molofsky saw a need for a space like this in 2019.
This center’s purpose is for young people to collaborate. Different rooms inside the center are intentional for the type of service. Inside people can find a computer lab, a museum, a kitchen, a game room, a wellness space, a library and kid’s room. After the idea first sparked in 2019, Molofsky formed a youth council to envision what the Harambee Learning and Cultural Center would provide.
“That’s what I do here is genuinely helping people connect with their past and allowing them to realize because I feel like in the American school education system, there’s just so much lies that have been taught throughout school to the point where there’s no real actual history until you get to the college level,” said Kayan Orozco Willis, the center’s Teen Liaison.
He continued to say that they want to be a space where people can learn and discover real history that isn’t always taught in Western American education.
The future events that the center will host are open to everyone. This center is grant-funded by the Sierra Foundation. This allowed for young people to be hired and ultimately decide what the needs of the local youth are to bring those programs, events or workshops to life.
“We really see this space as a community space and so we hope to see organizations that are grassroots nonprofits,” Molofsky said. “We’re hoping to see people with beautiful talents and experience coming here. We’re also looking for more volunteers.”
The grand opening of the Harambee Learning and Cultural Center is Saturday, February 24 starting at 2 p.m. If you are interested in seeing the center sooner than that, this Friday they will have an opening of door event which will allow people to access the center during Arcata Arts Alive.