Every night the world tunes in to their local news stations anticipating a report about the young, the black, and their destruction to society. We’re guilty of being entertained by the captured crimes on First 48 and infested with the notion to remain silent about crimes. We enjoy the violent videos posted on WorldStar by people yearning for attention to be socially recognized. While we’re eager to “like” a Facebook post diminishing the brand of Black & Beauty, were reluctant to share positive memorandum that uplifts and encourages. It’s pretty much the nature of urban social media.
But for Justin Ortiz, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Generation News, he’s determined to change the way the younger generation is perceived through the media.
After a tragic loss of a friend’s, friend in 2007, and years prior to and after, Ortiz realized the media’s focus on negative news. He wanted to create a channel to expose positive imagery for the young and talented. With a bootleg camera and absolutely no experience, Ortiz established a team and began to highlight the achievements of local youth and entrepreneurs on camera. Thereafter, the birth of Generation News took its place in Rochester, New York.
With a focus to captivate audiences with inspiring videos from empowering people in urban (not limited from suburban) communities, Generation News is ready to expose national organizations through their site. Expanding their model of youthful acclaims, Generation Outreach is next! It’s an after school program where Ortiz and his team works with Rochester youth, teaching them trades to prepare for real world experiences.
“It was a struggle and I almost gave up”, explained Ortiz as he spoke about his dedicated partner and current friend resigning during the development of the program. “But I’m a faithful man and believed in myself and in God’s plan”.
Although turned down by many when seeking funding, Ortiz is still on the move. His relationships with the Rochester City School District, the Rochester Police Department, local government, and other community organizations are growing as he works to highlight the positive contributions of professionals and clients in each of those areas. He’s been featured through local media outlets and is known throughout the Rochester community for his commitment to positivity, and now, the Black Youth Project is excited to spread the word about this amazing program.
As Ortiz dedicates his time to researching news to cover and attempting to secure funding to support the mission, he isn’t hesitant to ask for support (particularly financial) and truly grateful when its received.
While he is the Executive Director and the Co-Founder, he certainly seems to understand that the man above is his boss and he’s working a master plan for the Master. A plan to move urban society away from the junk we call entertainment, and focus on real amusement that fuels a beautiful people eager to succeed.
Another paradigm of epitomizing urban success is demonstrated through Ortiz’s urge to create change and move forward despite hardships. Generation News is truly altering the negative perceptions, highlighting positive actions, and creating community change!