I was born in Harlem, NYC and grew up between there and, during my high school years in, New Jersey. I took on martial arts fairly early because, as an introverted youth, it was a means for me to connect and to try to make sense of the people around me. It made me feel empowered and, at the same time, more self aware. I went to university for English literature and music and developed a deep interest in language and culture. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of my time traveling, living and working in Africa, Latin America and in under-served communities here in the U.S. Now, I’ve been back in NYC continuing the work of my own personal development and that of my students and neighborhood. My next step is to give those seeds a home to grow in, so that we can all have a space in which to be creative, strengthen ourselves and plan new ways to positively affect the people we care for.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
MSMB is a comprehensive martial and movement arts school. We train a wide range of practices that we feel support our students development in holistic ways. Over the years, through my career in education and teacher development, I’ve seen how impactful martial arts can be as a device for breaking down boundaries and building trust and camaraderie and community. So, as much as being a school for physical development we use our practices to give a deep and deliberate insight into a wide array of cultures to build an understanding that’s more than just physical. After hosting classes and workshops in all kinds of hourly spaces and temporary venues, I decided, along with my collaborators and students, that it was time to find a physical space where we could house all of this creativity. That’s our big objective right now, as difficult as it might be in a city where space is at a premium. MSMB has the particular capacity to connect people from all walks of life through a phenomenon that uniquely crosses social lines. Martial arts, movement and culture, taught by elite level instructors, MSMB is a group where people develop practical skills and stay true and respectful to the cultures from which they come.
What is the purpose of this loan?
We will be using a portion of this loan as capital on our rental of a new studio space for ongoing full day programs for youths and adults. A sum in amount of $3000. The remainder, we will use for marketing and development. These funds will have a tremendous effect in their capacity to aid us in getting the word out about all of the amazing work we do. Our objective is to see near a doubling in student enrollment over the course of 6 months, which could translate to approx an additional $5-7000 p/mnth, through the usage of a professional, outsourced marketing group and the rental of a well located studio. This is a dream project of mine, bringing together family, community and the activities which bring me the most joy. This loan brings us steps closer to building more than just a school, but truly building a home.
Years in operation: 6 months – 1 year