Tell us about yourself?
The BIZ Stoop (Black Intergenerational Zeal) Stoop is a premier, W.O.M. (word of mouth) social enterprise built by Desire Johnson-Forte. Our vision is to exponentially increase the life expectancy of Black youth beyond the age of 25 years by way of access. We realign individuals with healthier visions of self using holistic approaches to wellness, to shift the boundaries that circumscribe our environment. Our mission is to retain high opportunity youth, and streamline them into prospective career paths. We launched in 2015 through Oakland's Youth Impact Hub. Our founder does this work because she believes it's not recognition by the establishment that Black people in the western hemisphere are as in much of need for a translator as anyone else. Our bright minds cuffed for skipping class, intoxicated by the poisons saturated in the air - shuffling through pipe-lines of various forms of exile. Many sent to college never return, unknowingly in exile - unavailable to do the healing, enlightenment, and investment thinking necessary to rebuild or sustain community assets. Wisdom of our elders and cultures goes unheard and unlearned. Our founder has dedicated her youth to being the one who returned home with purpose - do the work. Our first product line, launched at the Malcolm X Jazz Festival 2016, is Damn Good Teas.
How do you connect your craft with community building?
My business was founded on the circulation of the black dollar. I firmly believe that black youth must be afforded a vision of life beyond 25 years old - and one way this can be done is if they witness what financial discipline can afford. I believe that if we as a black community made the conscious choice to shop black - then the monetary needs for community transformation and capital will be expedited by entreperneurs