DetermiNation is a program designed to support the success and development of young African American males (ages 16-24) from the Oakland area. The program is especially tailored to support young men who are struggling to advance in their own life goals (such as employment, career, educational, or other personal goals) and who have been formerly involved in or in close proximity to the “street life”.

DetermiNation is program at United Roots in partnership with Urban Peace Movement, and is available for collaboration with other agencies doing Boys & Men of Color programs and projects. DetermiNation is organized by Galen Silvestri (Executive Director of United Roots) and Nicole Lee (Executive Director of Urban Peace Movement) with cultural education facilitated by Adimu Madyun and media training coordinated by Rafael Flores.

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Members of the DetermiNation program have completed various community projects during the last couple of years and members have been trained by industry professionals to produce music videos, short films, posters, fliers and more. There are paid opportunities for members of DetermiNation to do media production and organize community events. One of the most well known projects completed last year was a DetermiNation poster series that was turned into bus transit billboards throughout the City of Oakland.

#DeterminedTo Campaign – Dashawn Clinton from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.


WEEKLY SESSIONS: Connect with other young Black men from the Oakland area at the weekly trainings (dinners provided and receive $15 of petty cash, a per diem, for travel expenses) at United Roots’ Youth Impact Hub.


“The Movement Youth Summit” Promo Video from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.

MENTORSHIP: Receive mentorship and coaching to pursue individual life-goals (such as employment, career, or educational goals, wellness goals, housing goals, etc.).

2014 SIsters & Brothers at the Capitol from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.

CULTURAL EDUCATION: Learn about Black history and culture, as well as the legacy of the Black community in Oakland. Participate in workshops and trainings to develop skills, and launch projects that will uplift and engage other community members.

Boys & Men of Color Central Valley Conference from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.

MEDIA PRODUCTION TRAINING: Learn about media production to further develop skills for creating short films (multimedia journalism), music, posters, online graphics, websites, etc. Be supported with producing and distributing media produced as part of this training, and receive $15 in petty cash (a per diem) for travel and food when participating in media production trainings outside of weekly sessions, as well as paid contracts for completing major media projects.

Music Video “Living Wealthy” WolfHawkJaguar featuring DetermiNation from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.

SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZING: Participate in leadership training and get involved in local and statewide social justice campaigns. Meet bi-monthly with a group of youth leaders to plan and organize events, and receive stipends (travel & food per diem), as well as paid contracts for organizing events.

“The Movement Youth Summit” Promo Video from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.

EVENTS & TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES: Connect with other youth groups from around California to showcase media projects, with some opportunities for travel. These opportunities are in partnership with the Alliance for Boys & Men of Color, and part of the Health Happens Here: For All Our Sons & Brothers.

De’Mario Lewis Story “2014 Sisters & Brothers at the Capitol” from United Roots/ Oakland PAYV Acad. on Vimeo.


Program Length: Year-Round

Weekly Sessions (Mandatory): Wednesdays dinner at 5:30pm, session from 6-9pm

Media Training & Social Justice Organizing (Optional): Weekly cohort meetings and training programs

Paid Opportunities:
• $15 per diem stipend for travel & food for attending sessions
• $25 per diem stipend for travel & food when participating in working groups
• paid contracts for producing media and/or organizing social justice community events

Location: 2781 Telegraph ave, Oakland, CA 94612
Most workshops and trainings occur at United Roots’ Youth Impact Hub, a co-working office space for young entrepreneurs ages 16-24 that includes media lab and tech equipment. For a virtual tour of the facility click here

To apply to be in the DetermiNation program please email: