Posted on: July 7, 2023 Posted by: Dr. Courtney A Hammonds Comments: 0
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Wakanda is real — and it’s in Atlanta. Wakanda is a small African nation with a big heart for volunteerism. With a unified spirit of service, the Wakandan people have created an impressive infrastructure of volunteer programs that are making a difference in their communities.

The Villages at Carver Family YMCA, the IAM Marketing Agency, and Upscale Magazine have come together to launch an incredible 3-day STEAM Creation Challenge inspired by the hit movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. This powerful initiative was created to empower Black and brown youth with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), and to celebrate the legacy of the movie. This was an amazing opportunity for our community to unite and use our resources to create a better future for our youth.

Wakandan Volunteerism in Action

The three-day STEAM camp, inspired by the bright culture of Wakanda, created a forum for approximately 20 outstanding children to express themselves genuinely while embracing their cultural heritage. The alliance hopes to cultivate their skills and help them to successful careers in many artistic sectors by immersing them in a friendly environment that promotes diversity and innovation.

(L-R) Dr. Dionne L. Boyd, proprietor of, camp attendees, Ms. Marlette Johnson, Center Director at The Villages at Carver Family YMCA and Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds

The Benefits of Wakandan Volunteerism

  • Wakandan Volunteerism provides a chance to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
  • It can lead to better understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
  • It can help strengthen relationships and foster a sense of community.

The Wakanda theme was a powerful symbol of unification across several tribes. Using this concept, the cooperation hoped to establish a sense of community among participants as they embarked on this transformative journey together. They will not only strengthen their artistic skills through networking events and collaborative projects, but they will also make long-lasting connections with like-minded individuals who share similar goals.

Camp Attendee Illustrates the “Border Tribe”

Final thoughts on the impact of the STEAM Creation Challenge and the inspiration behind it.

Participants got the opportunity to learn from industry leaders who are passionate about sharing their knowledge through workshops, mentorship programs, and hands-on experiences. These young people were encouraged to explore multiple channels of expression, whether it was by writing fascinating stories, developing visually appealing artwork, or composing soul-stirring music.

Photo courtesy of Alicia Quan

Collectively, we can encourage black and brown adolescents to break down barriers and pursue satisfying futures by exposing them to varied career options in creativity through this unique collaboration between Upscale Magazine, the IAM Marketing Agency and the YMCA. This effort was a significant step toward creating a more open society in which innovation knows no limitations.

How to Get Involved in Wakandan Volunteerism

Research local volunteer opportunities and organizations that are doing good work. Here are a few to help jumpstart your search!

Yours in service,

Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds


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