‘Expressive Leaders’ launch party set for Richmond Food Hall

Left to right, Elohiym Muddavanha, Mistura Bankole, Mercy Niyi-Awolesi (Photo courtesy of The Practice Space)

A small cohort of young leaders are set to embark on a six-month project where they will use their voice to make a difference in their community.

And the community has an opportunity to support their efforts.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, the public is invited to attend a free launch party for 13 “Expressive Leaders” from 6-8 p.m. at the Richmond Food Hall, located at 1503 Macdonald Ave.

The youth, who come from all over the Bay Area, including San Pablo, Richmond, El Cerrito, Oakland, San Jose, Vallejo and Davis, are students of The Practice Space, the local nonprofit that helps youth and adults strengthen their public speaking skills. We wrote a profile on nonprofit earlier this year.

The Expressive Leaders will work closely with a mentor on a voice project. Projects so far include launching a debate club, creating youth voice advocacy campaigns, mentoring elementary students on their speaking skills, forming school support groups, creating youth voice podcasts, and holding community events.

The community has an opportunity to support these efforts. The Practice Space is actively accepting donations to help sponsor specific projects or the program in general.

And the nonprofit is encouraging community members to come meet the Expressive Leaders in person at the Nov. 16 event.

“This event is an important way to celebrate and support our leaders,” said AnnMarie Baines, founder of The Practice Space and an El Cerrito High graduate. “You will be able to chat informally with the students, hear their ideas and give them even more ideas! It is fun and family-friendly, with free food and cool prizes in our silent auction, including tickets to the SF Ballet, a family photo shoot, and fun baskets! All proceeds support the program.”

The Expressive Leaders are Mistura Bankole of Vallejo; Ella Bramwell of El Cerrito; Amber Crenna-Armstrong of Davis; Ana Guimaraes of Oakland; Cole Guimaraes of Oakland; Belen Islas of Richmond; Jazmin Islas of Richmond; Siddarth Maddhula of San Jose; Elohiym Muddavanha of Vallejo; Melchizedek Muddavanha of Vallejo; Kayla Munguia of San Pablo; Mercy Niyi-Awolesi of Vallejo; and Saif Younis of Davis.