The primary facilitators and organizers of Generation Chosen (Joseph Smith, Dwayne Brown, Kimarie Smith, and Nadia Dowie) all possess unique backgrounds that both inform and motivate their work today. The common thread that unites them is their acknowledgement of the dramatic impact that psycho-social tensions and unresolved emotional issues can have on educational, vocational and life outcomes.
At Generation Chosen we see ourselves as interrupting inter-generational patterns of poverty, disenfranchisement and trauma for those who are markedly underserved. We know that what fundamentally hinders youth ages 15-25 from educational matriculation (both at the secondary and post-secondary levels) and precludes their access to tertiary and quaternary industry jobs is not so much their willingness, capacities and acumen, but rather, the way in which institutional and systemic barriers, structures, and biases coalesce to condition the perception and emotional makeup of our participants and the individuals who function as their first points of contact with mainstream society (parents, teachers, employers etc.).
These institutional interfaces (family, school, work etc.) are often plagued with harmful power structures that favour those with privilege and sideline those without. It is because we believe that these types of (mis)relationships suppress the psycho-social development of our participants, the inter/intrapersonal relationships they seek to establish and by extension their life prospects that we seek to demystify, and make less taboo, engaging in meaningful educative discussions, activities, and programming around mental health and emotional intelligence.