The Melanin Passport Initiative is a philanthropy that gives freedom to inner city black children by assisting the attainment of travel documents, as well as planning & funding enriching retreats that expose them to horizons far beyond their neighborhood block.
When Sájari Q chose her battle, she chose one not for the faint of heart. Her Melanin Passport Initiative for inner-city black children will require much more than financial support. The truth is, only 38% of black children live in homes with two parents, and when we look at low income neighborhoods that this initiative targets, that number plummets even further.
For children to legally obtain passports, they need both parents to show up for the process to ensue. For a child who might not even have parents that can show up to provide food on a regular basis, this is much more difficult than fundraising.
In low income neighborhoods, many children have parents who are incarcerated, estranged, unknown or battling for custody. While percentages of Sájari Q’s hospitality training business and outside donations go toward the financial aspect of the Passport Initiative, Sajari has pledged to take on a much more strenuous battle, advocating for kids who may have never had an advocate in their lives.
But why passports? Why is travel so elemental to the development of an inner-city kid?
Most Black people in America don’t have time freedom because they’re working low-wage jobs and pushing clocks when they could be with their children. Most have little financial freedom which also affects emotional and creative freedom. When someone can only focus on simply surviving, there’s very little room for expression or creativity.
These children are growing up in homes where they’re getting just enough to survive. Barely getting by. They see their parents and elders working strenuous hours and emotionally breaking from lack of enrichment. Their world view is limited to the block they grew up on. The littered park down the street, supermarkets filled with majority processed foods, homelessness as a norm, and domestic violence on the rise.
No child should grow up in this circumstance, understanding this intense poverty as a norm. Sájari Q’s Melanin Passport Initiative moves to gift these children the possibility of a worldly lense.
Phase 1 is focused on obtaining a passport for these inner city children which will require the finances for the passport, as well as any legal action needed to properly apply when one or more parents might be unable to be present.
When a child can see how other people live and breathe- how Eastern cultures share resources, how European citizens enjoy successful government programs, and how African or Caribbean communities celebrate the abundance of their bounty through song and dance, they can finally see the vast possibilities that lay within them.
Sájari Q is adamant that no one is lazy or inherently fated for failure. Most black children that end up fitting stereotypes of ‘hood culture’ are just caught in the wheel of oppression. This Passport Initiative is a step toward breaking the wheel.
Phase 2 takes the Melanin Passport Initiative to the next step by providing a guided traveling opportunity where the child will be exposed to luxury, opportunities, and black professionals who can educate from their own experience.
By providing tools that help them actualize their goals, we give them the confidence to believe in their dreams and actually go for them!
These kids are insanely talented, possessing gifts that could change the world and fix the broken cogs of our society. But without a greater view of what is possible for them, the vast majority won’t dare to believe they are worthy of more than slums and minimum wage. But they are! They are worthy of abundance, the freedom to express, to experience and see other cultures, and broaden their horizons to infinity.
Part of Phase 2 is geared toward reversing the traumatic effects of generations of systemic oppression. We want these kids to feel like kings and queens for the first time in their lives! By nurturing and healing them through mind-body-soul practices, we slowly reinstill their own innate value and beauty. Our mission is to cultivate self-worth, confidence and joy by providing fun learning opportunities where they are treated with the highest respect.
This philanthropy was created hand in hand with Sájari’s hospitality business. She believes the joy of experiencing prosperity is being able to support others on their own journeys. This initiative that advocates for children’s passports and supports their global travels is one that will always pay it forward. By enriching the life of just a few inner-city children, they go forth to change the lives and perspectives of countless more.