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National Initiative Engaging the Twin Cities Community

Twin Cities PublicTelevision's work with the American Graduate initiative focuses on building a positive narrative about Minnesota’s youth by sharing their stories and voices. Together with community and education partners we are increasing local and national reporting about how young people are learning and living, empowering those we engage to hear, support and celebrate our students.

tpt met with African-American youth in several schools - including outstate, suburban, and metro high schools. These listening sessions were designed to ask questions and generate conversation about the realities and challenges of being an African-American student in Minnesota. Out of these listening sessions, six high school seniors were identified as distinct voices to feature in the online and on-air content.

Believe in Black Youth                                                                           

American Graduate is a community-driven initiative that uses our position as storytellers and our platform as a PBS station to create and perpetuate positive narratives of young people by changing the narrative and belief system about Minnesota’s marginalized kids, youth and communities from one of lack, insufficiency and disadvantage, to one of value, wisdom and worth. Our goal is to contribute to closing the belief gap that exists for kids of color along their journey from cradle to career and beyond. In this first phase, we are focusing specifically on African American youth with the BELIEVE IN BLACK YOUTH campaign, featuring BLACK BRILLIANCE, a documentary in which five black high school seniors from Minnesota share their journeys to graduation: what it takes, what it means, and defining success on their own terms.


Shining a light on Black Brilliance 

Click to learn more about our Spotlight Youth >>

Our featured youth were interviewed and filmed in their schools, homes, and other community places that supported and uplifted their passions and interests. In addition to the youth, tpt interviewed parents and family members, teachers, administrators, creative mentors, and others who encouraged their graduation success.


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