Mayor Baraka and the All Stars Project Of New Jersey announce partnership for youth development

Published by Christina DiChiara

On May 14, All Stars Project of New Jersey and Newark’s Centers of Hope Initiative held the first ever free citywide talent show at Central High School, marking the first event of a new partnership between All Stars Project and the City of Newark!

Over 300 performers, volunteers and supporters came out to celebrate and applaud Newark’s youth in creating “A New Play for Newark.” We were thrilled to be joined by Mayor Ras J. Baraka who made special remarks highlighting the need to create new development opportunities for inner-city youth.

“This is an important step in our development of innovative programs to create opportunity for young people in Newark,” said Mayor Baraka. “Many of our youth programs are partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, non-profits, colleges and universities, and the business community. We are excited to partner with the All Stars Project.”

Mayor Baraka has a longstanding relationship with the All Stars Project, beginning during his tenure as principal at Newark’s Central High School. After taking office in 2014, Mayor Baraka hosted a workshop at Newark City Hall with the ASP Art of Painting the World in Different Colors initiative. That same year, Mayor Baraka appointed Lucy Lopez, an alumnus of the All Stars Project Development School for Youth as Youth Mayor of Newark.

From the Development School for Youth (DSY), where young people engage with corporate America, to the All Stars Talent Show Network (ASTSN), where they produce and perform in hip hop talent shows in their own neighborhoods, and to its award-winning police-community relations program Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids, the All Stars Project plans to partner with Newark to bring new approaches in youth development to the city.

“As someone who has been in Newark for 17 years, I am proud to partner with Mayor Baraka, who has enthusiastically embraced innovative sources of development for Newark and its people,” said All Stars Project of New Jersey Leader Gloria Strickland.

“In New Jersey, more than a thousand citizens, corporations and foundations have come to the table to privately fund Afterschool Development. With Mayor Baraka’s backing, this important public-private partnership will provide new pathways for Newark’s youth,” said All Stars Project President and CEO Gabrielle Kurlander.

“The All Stars has given me and other New Jersey business leaders an effective and personally fulfilling way to invest in making a difference in the lives of young people,” said ASP of NJ Board of Directors co-chair and Investors Bank President and CEO Kevin Cummings.

A special thank you to Jennifer Kohl, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, Will Simpson of My Brother’s Keeper Newark and everyone from the Centers of Hope team for partnering with All Stars Project to transform the lives of Newark’s young people!