Creating Safe Spaces for Healing with Youth of Color
Irreducible Grace Foundation (IGF) began in 2012 by a group of educators, led by Dr. Darlene Fry, who saw the large racial disparities of on-time graduation rates between African American, American Indian, and Hispanic students to their Caucasian and Asian counterparts.
In conducting listening sessions with youth from these populations we learned that many began their out-of-home placements in foster care. As a foster-to-adopt parent, Dr. Fry knew some of the barriers facing this group of young people. Affecting positive change with these students would extend far beyond the school district.
“Irreducible Grace” comes from the experiences shared with us by a child coming into our lives from the foster care system, with the ability to love us even though so many adults had failed her previously. Being nonverbal, this child had a smile that radiated love, that couldn’t be reduced (Irreducible) by the world around her. In her sharing of love we all received the “unmerited favor” (Grace) in assisting her in living a new life.
We began by listening to youth; young adult and parents of those were or had been in foster care. What we heard helped us to create a safe space for youth of color to express themselves, learn and support one another. IGF is the little organization with the funny name that is youth-influenced in creating safe spaces and healing opportunities for youth of color.
Who We Are
Irreducible Grace Foundation (IGF) is a non-profit focused on creating safe spaces with youth of color. IGF provides mentoring, life skills, employment, self-care practices, and safe space for teens and young adults. Through the use of visual and performing arts and movement techniques we help young people learn new skills for dealing with stress, trauma and fostering their voice.
Since 2012, we have worked consistently with youth who were in chronic need of support and others who come to work with our performances and workshops.
Our young people are now poised and eager to take on leadership roles to develop more outlets to help young people who are experiencing similar life struggles. In their own words, "We want to be the help we never got."