United Roots is an organization in Oakland, California, that engages low-income youth and young adults of color in socially innovative ways. United Roots provides direct support to theses young people and as part their educational training program connects them to opportunities to work in the media & tech sectors. In partnership with Impact Hub Oakland and Youth SEED, United Roots launched Youth Impact Hub Oakland in 2013. This initiative supports the leadership of low-income youth of color and young adults in creating an equitable, life-affirming economy through socially innovative training, collaborative co-working space and access to networks and resources. In 2015 young adults from United Roots, QuayShawn Presley and Malik Hardcastle, participated in the Youth Hub Fellowship program and incubated UR Media, a business enterprise to provide youth-led media & tech services to the Bay Area. Ajman Thrower, a member of DetermiNation (a program at United Roots in partnership with Urban Peace Movement), also launched 8 Feet Tall Promotions, a youth-led promotions company.
(Randy Riggins from Adobe Systems working with QuayShawn Presley and Malik Hardcastle to launch UR Media as part of the Youth Hub Fellowship)
In spring 2015 Adobe Systems hired UR Media to support with beta-testing a new app called Vibe. When Adobe Systems was ready to launch the app they hired UR Media to provide music for the user interface. UR Media identified Oakland-based musician and beat-maker Jason “Stunts” Ewing, a young man that has been working with United Roots since 2009, to produce a collection of instrumental music for the Vibe app. The contract was successful and the music of Stunts will be featured on the Vibe app in February 2016. Stunts is currently working on a new music album that will be released summer 2016 under the name Eultra. Adobe is also launching a new youth initiative called Project 1324, and United Roots and Youth Impact Hub Oakland are collaborating on this initiative to create opportunities for UR Media youth media artists & Gameheads tech innovators to share their work and advertise their production services. The Project Vibe app, with music by Stunts and promoted by 8 Feet Tall, is now available on iTunes and you can download it on your iPhone for free! Click here for more information.