2020 has been an astounding year. In many ways, it has highlighted the very fabric and fiber of who we are as a society, as institutions, companies, communities, and individuals. For P.S. 314, it has emphasized the importance of our greatest assets: our vision, leadership, and service to humanity. As I shared in our summer newsletter, we are “united by a hope for humanity,” and I deeply believe that we have an opportunity to use this year as fuel for change.

As P.S. 314 enters its fifth year, reflection has been an integral part of the path forward. Recent events have offered the opportunity to reflect on our collective and on our work within the context of this current moment. Changing times have caused us to adjust our methods of communication and information sharing, and shift our platforms to ones of service and clarity. We have reexamined how we can continue to reimagine our world and build a stronger equity footprint. Our desire to advance our work in service to humanity and to strengthen our partnerships inspired our redesigned website and our increased social media presence.

Over the summer, P.S. 314 cemented its partnership with Bond & Play, a progressive company committed to building innovative models and platforms, in an effort to showcase our story. The company played a role in the collective’s redesigned website, which highlights our five-year impact, strategic vision, partnerships, and path for the future. The refreshed site offers deeper insight into the problems we solve and into our commitment to help changemakers leverage their greatest potential to ensure equity throughout the world.

Building on our commitment to create a more equitable society, P.S. 314 developed a new social media series. Dismantling Racism was designed to highlight the incredible work of those who stand on the front lines of change. The series featured 19 different individuals, organizations, and resources that work to dismantle systemic racism in a variety of areas, including media, youth development, education, art, history, and more. Understanding the varied and interconnected nature of the work deepened our commitment to supporting and partnering with these organizations and others.  

Dismantling Racism also reinforced the diversity of perspectives and values that exist in our world. During one of the most polarized times in our country’s history, P.S. 314 remains dedicated to using conversation to create opportunities for connection and understanding. As a result, we have fostered a series of conversations featuring members of our collective, and created an informal space to share what it means to be grounded in the work of building equity. We know that part of exploring American culture involves leaning in and leveraging our own lived experience. However, expanding our perspectives enables us to consider and respect the lived experience and humanity of others. Our presence on Instagram Live and our conversation series allow us to broaden our contribution beyond direct business services. Through storytelling, we are able to delve more deeply into the issues of identity and equity and build a stronger bridge of understanding.

Our Fireside Chat series features four conversations that shed light and insight on a diverse series of experiences focused on intergenerational leadership, race and gender solidarity, and transgender identity, as well as race, progress, and privilege in the United States, and South Africa. P.S. 314 was able to produce the Fireside Chat series thanks to the generous grant received from Her Suite Spot, and the Yva Jourdan Foundation, in support of our programmatic expansion. The HerRise MicroGrant enabled us to champion our summer fellows and provided Elise Simon, a P.S. 314 journalism and media fellow, with real-word experience that aligned her passion for media production with her calling to create social change. As a result of the grant, Elise was able to rise above the position of summer fellow to the role of series producer. We remain grateful for the support and partnership that grounded us as a team and invigorated our commitment to ensuring that the expansion of P.S. 314’s critical work continues.  

Leveraging our collective contributions and achievements, we continue to expand the P.S. 314 team. We are pleased to welcome our new Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 cohort of clients and consultants to the collective. Their presence and partnership are vital to our core goal to increase our equity footprint, and we are grateful to have them on board.  

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, P.S. 314 recognizes the path we took to achieve this milestone. While we recognize all of the challenges that 2020 has brought to us all, we also feel an immense sense of gratitude. Five years in business is an accomplishment, and we honor the community of internal and external stakeholders that has supported us. We know that the work of creating a more equitable world remains, as does our unwavering commitment and indomitable spirit. As we move forward over these next few weeks and into 2021, we do so with a vision rooted in gratitude, humanity, and equity. Undaunted, we step firmly on that fruitful path, in partnership with each other and with all of you.


P.S. 314 was proud to feature the Dismantling Racism series this summer, which highlighted collective clients and thought leadership tools that challenge racism on the front lines. Produced by collective members Michon Lartigue and Alisa Norris, the series can be seen on @ps3onefour’s Instagram page. Check out a few highlights below:
@pointmadelearning invites everyone to join the conversation around race, inequality, diversity, and inclusion. Since 1997, the Point Made team has told stories that teach us all about who we are as Americans and as citizens of the world. With a vision for ensuring that their films can also serve as tools for education, @pointmadelearning brings innovative content and programming to institutions and organizations that are serious about inclusion. They design programs, tools, and workshops around their documentary films and facilitate and cultivate discussion, learning, and action. Their work directly addresses the isms, phobias, and systems of inequity that divide us. Their most recent film, “I’m not Racist, Am I?” is the catalyst for digital learning and The American Dream Game, taking a deeper dive and look at Race in America.

With the current climate of racial tensions, individuals and institutions who have previously missed the mark on diversity and equity are searching for resources and ways to be and do better. @projectinkblot is a woman and minority-owned business comprised of a team of designers and futurists who partner with companies to build equitable products, services, and content Design for Diversity™(D4D). D4D is a framework that illuminates blind spots around cultural and racial biases within design, ideation and creative processes in order to create better work. In a recent IG post, Project Inkblot shared that D4D was “birthed to center Black and Brown communities. We codified this framework based on our own lived experiences with being invisibilized in the corporate world, never regarded as experts, never regarded as leaders. We made it our life’s purpose to source the power of our own people , and to create a framework to shift dominant culture and close the gaps between those who have power and those who don’t.”


Earlier this year, @ps3onefour was proud to welcome @thebeautifulprj to the P.S. 314 collective. Based in North Carolina, The Beautiful Project works to counter and dismantle the systemic harm caused by the pervasive narrative and images that reinforce inaccurate and negative stereotypes of black women and girls. Through photography, writing, and self-care programs, @thebeautifulprj collectively builds and utilizes the power of the voices of black women and girls to advance their representational justice and wellness. Through support of the organization’s network, including allies, The Beautiful Project creates the safe spaces black women and girls need to build confidence, receive tools, mentor, collaborate, create, and share. Follow @thebeautifulprj and check out its new project #hertestimony highlighting black NC women and their experience during COVID-19.


Important tools that individuals and institutions use in the process to dismantle racism are research and data that reflect the ideas, work, and vision from thought leaders who offer new theories of change. #PopJustice: Volume 1 Social Justice and the Promise of Pop Culture Strategies is one resource we like to revisit.

Published in 2016 as the first in a series of reports produced by Liz Manne Strategy, this report, provides an insightful look into how mainstream culture influences narrative, and in turn, impacts and moves the needle in our fight for equity. As shared in the preface, “Of course, art and culture have been forces for social and political change for centuries (millennia?). What’s different about the past few years is how quickly pop culture can move an issue from the margins of public consciousness to its center. In a hyperconnected world where practically anyone, anywhere, can join in the conversation, pop culture is changing and influencing public opinion at a rate never seen before.”  

In our current high-stakes social justice climate, these words ring even more true today. #PopJustice Volume 1’s theory of change and analysis of the players involved continues to provide important context and serve as a critical tool for creating a more equitable present and future. Learn more at lizmanne.com/popjustice

Thank you to Elise Simon, who, in partnership with the P.S. 314 team, produced our Fireside Chat series of conversations. We are also grateful to all of the panelists and to the P.S. 314 leadership team who participated in the production of the series. 

This fireside chat highlights the voices of four generations: Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z. With an enlightening approach, the conversation looks beyond the stereotypes and labels to hear how fear, faith, passion, and vision influenced four leaders at critical points in their career. Whether just stepping into leadership roles, or reflecting on the legacy of leadership, participants can use this conversation to open up space for connection vs. criticism. This chat also offers insight and inspiration for anyone navigating intergenerational dynamics within their personal or professional environments.


This conversation highlights the voices of two women, one black and one white, who themselves have had a series of discussions that break open the barriers, and build bridges of understanding with each other and their unique experience of race. We also learn that black women and white women have both differences and similarities in their childhood influences, their interaction with others, and their fight in the workplace to achieve equity. 


This two-part conversation highlights the voices of two black transgender women who openly share their journeys to embracing their true self and how their experience has influenced their outlook on topics like love, beauty, family, relationships, identity, and politics. While navigating two distinct paths, both women offered insight on the fact that womanhood, and on the process of defining what it means to be powerful, whole, and accepting of ourselves and others as a shared human experience.  


This conversation highlights the voices of two filmmakers, one from the United States and one from South Africa. Together, they share insight into the images that influenced their childhood and informed their choice to work as storytellers today. Through this conversation, we not only gain an understanding of the power of racial constructs from the lens of direct experience, we learn about the similarities that exist between two places that have been steeped and influenced by colonialism. The conversation offers insight on the growth and attention needed on key issues in order to create greater equity in both places. 

This year, many people were responsible for leading institutions, companies, teams, and individuals through the events of 2020. Personally and professionally, the impact of the global pandemic and the racial uprising called forth key questions about what it means to connect humanity to leadership principles. P.S. 314 collective members, Michon Lartigue and Brian Evans discussed humanity, leadership, and 2020 lessons learned. They also shared thoughts on our collective path forward, healing, and how P.S. 314 can continue to “humanize the hustle”.

So often, black women consistently deliver in their families, friendship circles, and communities. Whether showing up as a powerful voting block, fighting for equity, or leading our ecosystem in entrepreneurship, black women often embody the role of leadership personally and professionally. At the same time, many black women experience barriers to accessing the tools, support, positions, and professional development that can support their dreams, visions, businesses, and work. They find themselves in a position of having to create their own path forward. P.S. 314 Collective members Michon Lartigue and Tammy Dowley-Blackman shared key reflections on the pathway to business, philanthropy and creating a caring culture of support, leadership, and equity. They also discussed influence, impact, and the critical need for intergenerational conversation about our hope for the future.


Congratulations to beloved collective members Alice Sheppard and the Kinetic Light community. Alice and Kinetic Light artist Jerron Herman were both chosen as Ford Foundation Disability Futures Fellows. We are so proud, and offer congratulations to all 20 artists.

Check out our dynamic Founder and President Pi-Isis Ankhra who was featured recently in the University of Maryland Alumni Magazine and will soon be featured in a forthcoming documentary about her experience at UMCP and also in Dawson’s Ink.

This summer, Pi-Isis joined Essence Magazine in its first ever men’s summit in celebration of and discussion about black men in America. Her panel discussed the specific impact of recent and ongoing traumas to the black family and the impact of racial injustice and violence. Pi-Isis joined Moderator Actor/Activist/Author D’ondre Whitfield, Activist Tamika Maloory, Psychiatrist Dr. Michelle Callahan and Journalist Janelle Snowden.  

This fall, Pi-Isis will be a featured speaker at P.S.314 collective member Yolanda Johnson's new initiative, Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC), as she shares key strategies to building a proactive consultancy dedicated to doing well and doing good in the time of COVID.
P.S. 314 is so excited to welcome our 2020 Winter Cohort of collective members. These clients and consultants are a dynamic group, dedicated to creating a more equitable world for us all. Check them out! 
This fall, P.S. 314 reflected on how we tell our story which led to a new partnership and new website. Check out our new and refreshed look - thank you Bond & Play.  

Bond & Play is a holding company for a portfolio of innovative products, platforms and services for the digital economy. Bond & Play companies reflect products optimized for digital innovation, business growth and immersive digital experiences. 
Along with collaborating with P.S. 314 in the re-design of their website, the company launched text-message learning platform and partnered with UNCF to produce the esports and video game segment for their HBCU Silicon Valley Tech Summit.
We are so honored to have come this far together. For P.S. 314, community has always been central to our vision. It feels tremendous to celebrate a five-year milestone in partnership with our collective of clients and consultants. Together, we are transforming our world and increasing the footprint of equity. Below is a preview of our upcoming 5th Anniversary slide show. 
Are you interested in joining us as a fellow, an intern, or consultant? 
Please contact us. Visit our website: ps3onefour.com/letstalk or email us at match@ps3onefour.com