Fare of the Free Child Podcast

Ep. 19: Children’s Rights Advocacy

Akilah S. Richards talks with Dida's co-founder, Danielle, about her work with the Suspension Representation Project in New York, surviving childhood, co-founding a self-directed learning space for teens and adults, children’s legal rights (existing and proposed legislation), and her deep interests in possible policy work/political advocacy.

Summer '16 Fellow: Migel Haynes

About Migel

Migel Julian “Migos” Haynes 16, innovative, accountable, and stalwart. I’m extremely fascinated by the arts and I’m always trying to articulate the arts in everything I do. I’m a rising senior at The High School for Public Service and I’m currently undecided on what career to pursue. I do know that whatever career I choose I will keep my positive attitude, charisma, and will find a way to continue to inspire those I cross paths with and remain a role model for many.

Migel's Project: Migos: An Introspection

My project has a lot of complex questions and I didn’t know how to make them simpler, so I decided to make a documentary on my life hoping to not answer the questions, but to explore them. To explore as many sides of me, “Migos,” as I transition from different settings and workplaces including: LTG, Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte’s Office, and Dida. You’ll also see how I use my skills and talents every day to continue to better myself and learn in various settings.

Summer '16 Fellow: Chemada Virgile

About Chemada

I am a 19 year old Activist and a proud African American. My inspiration comes from the works of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Mohammad Ali.

Chemada's Project: The Thin Line Between Anger and Frustration

I wrote my project to help people understand the difference between anger and frustration. That we are all just trying to survive yet one racial group has the key to another’s life.

Summer '16 Fellow: Ariel Matthews

About Ariel

I attend Medgar Evers College, where I major in mass communications. I plan to transfer to Brooklyn College next year to pursue a bachelor’s degree and major in journalism. I love listening to music and going on adventures with my friends. I’m a passionate music lover and sucker for comedies and romantic movies. I plan to be a music journalist in the future. 

Ariel's Project: The Medium is the Message

The aim of my project was to explore different perspectives on the influence of social media. Through interviews with my peers I explored how social media affects self-esteem and group dynamics. I also explored how it will affect future generations.   


Summer '16 Fellow: Jeremiah Ampudia

About Jeremiah

I am the youngest of four children and I live in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn in my family home. I describe myself as quirky, silly, and artistic! I am a self-proclaimed full time hobbyist, and I love to illustrate, write, and computer program in my free time.

Jeremiah's Project: Allegory

My piece explores misconceptions caused by misinformation spread by mass media.

Summer '16 Fellow: Acacia Patterson

About Acacia

My Name is Acacia Patterson and I was born in Jamaica. I moved to America when I was four years old with my family and have been here ever since. I am very passionate about natural hair because it is an extension of one's self yet it is neglected.

Acacia's Project: The Truth Behind Natural Hair

Natural Hair is more than just hair, it's a way of life. Through my short documentary I aim to enlighten society about natural hair. In addition, I aim to showcasing self-appreciation, self-love and self-growth. 

2016 Summer Fellowship

Fellowship Dates: July 18-August 5, 2016

Final Exhibition: Thursday, August 4, 2016, 6-9PM at 808 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn

We are working with six brilliant and passionate fellows who are creating thought-provoking projects on a range of topics.

The goal of the Dida Fellowship is to produce meaningful and educative projects of value and we truly feel we are accomplishing that. We are beyond impressed by the insightful projects our fellows are working on and cannot wait to share them with you.

Final Exhibition

Please join us at our Final Exhibition on Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 6-9 PM at Repair the World Brooklyn  (808 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216).
Our fellows will present their projects in a multimedia format.
Dinner will be served at 6PM. This event is free of charge.
RSVP by August 3 to info@didaacademy.org.

Below is a sample of the projects currently in progress:

  • Social Media’s Effect on Human Interactions
  • Exploring Identity, Self-Esteem and the Experience of Black Women with Natural Hair
  • The Rise and Social Implications of “Black Lives Matter”
  • A Critical Review and Critique of Modern Feminism

The XQ Competition

From September 2015-May 2016, team Dida was hard at work compiling a comprehensive multimedia proposal for the XQ Super School Competition. Winning teams will receive $10 million each to open a new high school.

The XQ Super School Competition is made possible by a $50 million grant from Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

"The Super School Project aims to bring the nation together to imaginatively and ambitiously rethink what the American high school can - and must - be." (xqsuperschool.org)

"[T]he initiative is meant to create high schools with new approaches to education. In essence, Ms. Powell Jobs and her team of high-profile educators and designers hope they can crowd-source a solution to a problem that has flummoxed policy makers for decades...[T]he campaign is meant to inspire teams of educators and students, as well as leaders from other sectors, to come up with new plans for high schools." (Laurene Powell Jobs Commits $50 Million to Create New High Schools)

Dida made it past the first phase and into the Semi-Final round (350 Semi-Finalists were chosen from around 700 submissions). The winners will be announced in August, 2016.