Destiny Arts Center’s mission is realized through our students, parents, educators, community leaders, and staff. Our community is the reason we continue our work to end isolation, prejudice, and violence in the lives of young people. Ultimately, their stories are the truest measures of our success.
Author, poet, feminist, and activist
What a brave band of determined souls is Destiny! Working with our youth, advancing the cause of justice and peace, teaching non-violence by being Peace. This is the work of grass-roots Movement into the Beloved community for which we long.
Dance Director, Berkeley High School
“I can spot a Destiny Arts dancer from a mile away. Each year at the auditions for the Berkeley High School Dance Production, a few Destiny dancers show up and in the sea of high school dancers these girls ALWAYS stand out: they are remarkably poised, self-possessed and well-trained. More importantly, as young women they have clearly developed a sense of their own power on stage as separate from the over-sexualized “power” of the dancers we see in hip hop videos. These girls see their bodies as their creative tools and view performance as a forum for expressing the best parts of themselves.”
Destiny Alum 1990-1997, College graduate, Scientist
“The Project DESTINY classes [Destiny Arts Center’s school-based programs, now Artists in Schools] I attended for ‘at risk’ youth in elementary school were filled with valuable lessons about the acceptance of each person’s individuality and abilities, the building of friendships and a nurturing space, and of finding courage and leadership skills. Soon after I started participating in Destiny programs, things rapidly started to turn around for me. I got into a lot less trouble at school, as well as at home. In fact, my evenings were now filled with something that I loved. I was surrounded by youth of different shapes, sizes, ethnic backgrounds, sexualities and financial backgrounds who cared about each other, accepted each other, weren’t afraid to believe in the good of others, and who were, and still are, ‘family.’”
“It is not difficult for an educational enterprise to advocate the values of harmony and non-violence – and of course, many such organizations do. But Destiny actually succeeds in instilling every community member that it touches with a consistent, profound and empowering sense of respect for their fellow human beings and a genuine commitment to the values of community, diversity and peace. It is that success that makes Destiny Arts Center unique.”
Original: Destiny actually succeeds in instilling every community member that it touches with a consistent, profound and empowering sense of respect for their fellow human beings.
Age 10, Peralta Elementary School (Oakland)
“I think it is fun and exciting to learn how to dance and do each move and do martial arts to learn how to defend ourselves. If someone is trying to hurt us, we use our fighting skills, but only if we have to. We use our feet and our words first.”