"The nature of identity is heavily layered. When we begin to wade through its depths we find that at its core there lies the brilliance of “I” — a beaming originality, a collection of truths, wind-woven and honest; a clear reflection of who we are. Expressing this brilliance can be a hugely affirming and self-actualizing process for anyone, at any stage in life.
When we focus in on America's underserved youth, this process becomes difficult because the layers of identity thicken. Sifting through an inheritance that is often multicultural and multilingual, embedded with the stress and traumas of growing up in poverty, America’s young people are hungry for a sense of self that empowers, emboldens, and enlivens.
The Identity Project responds directly to this need by introducing the concept of personal acts of literacy. If we simplify literacy to mean "any process of understanding and communicating,” then personal acts of literacy are the ways in which we walk out in to the world and express our truths, our brilliance of “I”.
The Identity Project taps into the transformative potential of this concept and guides young people through the process of creating personal acts of literacy that heal and empower. By inviting young people to use the vocabularies of documentary storytelling and performance as a means for exploration of self, students learn that their voices are valuable, worthy, and original, and that they are capable of making great meaning in this world. "
-Alesandra Zsiba, Founding Artist & Director, The Identity Project