Busta’s Organization of the Week: Lit City sponsoring The Freedom School summer program

Busta’s Organization of the Week: Lit City sponsoring The Freedom School summer program
June 30
13:10 2021

By Busta Brown

“If you noticed, Busta, a lot of times organizations will go into the community to do something for the people and not with the people. We want to build with young Black and brown people,” said Miranda Jones. “We view our young people as promise youth, not at-risk youth. We see the best in our Black and brown youth, so we continue to come back and invest in them, their communities, and schools,” said Jones. 

Jones is speaking about Lit City, a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem, started by Terrance Hawkins in 2011. Their youth development initiatives seek to build in solidarity with under-served Winston-Salem teens from the “classroom to the corner, from the court to the concert.” They seek to accomplish this through leadership development, mentoring/advocacy, sports/fitness, and urban artistic expression. 

Lit City currently partners with Carver High School and Winston-Salem Street School to lead after-school groups that help students explore questions of identity, purpose, destiny, and social consciousness. 

This summer, Lit City is sponsoring The Freedom School, where Miranda Jones serves as the project director. I asked her to share some of things youth will learn this summer. “Honoring the ancestors, cultural heritage, teaching youth to look at themselves and their ancestors from a positive prospect. Looking at Black and brown people as an asset prospective, and not a deficit prospective. So, we’re going to take them on field trips to visit historically Black sites and successful Black businesses. That enrichment is a big thing!” shared Miranda. 

This Friday they are taking youth to see The Freedman’s Vine at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), which is an exhibit of guitars made out of trees from which Black men were hung. The youth will also visit Winston-Salem State University, which will balance the dark side of Black history by seeing how accomplished we are today. 

Jones invited me to participate in the Integrated Reading Curriculum. What I love about this program is that although all of the books are developmentally appropriate, they do address the tough issues that Black and brown youth face each day. After the invited guest reads with the youth, they will discuss what happened in the books and suggest solutions. 

Terrance Hawkins’ vision for Lit City and The Freedom School is to create activist scholars. Miranda believes that the Integrated Reading Curriculum creates a love for reading. And I’m claiming that it will, because I really dig what they’re doing with our youth. 

As I think about what’s happening daily in our Black and brown communities, Lit City and The Freedom School is very necessary and right on time. “We need financial support, Busta. We feed our youth weekly and take them on field trips every Friday, so I’m hoping this article will tap into the hearts of the Black church, because we are a faith-based group, sponsored by Love Out Loud. So, we need help to get all of these children to The Freedom School. Some of their parents don’t work or don’t have transportation. If there are any institutions that would love to donate, we welcome your support as well,” shared Miranda. 

They also give stipends to selected youth. They also offer poetry and music workshops taught by professional poets, musicians and music producers. They offer a resume workshop as well, “… because a lot of our high school students will need resumes, right? We’re doing this with parents and youth.” 

The Freedom School is open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. through July 30 at Zion Memorial Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. For more information, contact Project Director Miranda Jones at 336-306-0162, Terrance Hawkins at 336-345-5419, or via email at

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors