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One Common Unity breaks cycles of violence and builds compassionate, healthy communities through the transformative power of music, arts, and peace education.

Our flagship program, Fly By Light (FBL), trains the next generation of youth leaders in social-emotional literacy and non-violent communication and empowers them to use art, music, and creative expression to create positive social change in their communities.

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Why OCU

Youth in Washington, D.C. are four times more likely to die by homicide than by the next closest cause. Students (ages 11-18) in our programs grapple with community violence, crime, poverty, drugs and high rates of incarceration, all of which reinforce cyclical trauma. Structural violence and racism, enforced through housing policies, access to educational opportunities, and an unequal distribution of resources, adds further hurdles to the lives of youth and their families. Building upon their incredible resilience, One Common Unity provides safe, supportive spaces where youth discover their authentic selves, connect with nature, and are equipped with the skills, tools, and support to disrupt cycles of violence and poverty.

“I was not doing well in school but Fly By Light made me a more confident person and more confident in my abilities. It is the people within the program, who over time, helped me change into the person I really want to be.”

Leighton, Fly By Light Participant

“Before Fly By Light, I was not open to meeting new people or expressing myself. Now, I am very open to getting to know others. I have learned to accept others for who they are and in return, I hope they too will accept me for all that I am.”

Nardia, Fly By Light Alumna

“Fly By Light is a place where I can address the conflicts in my life, without feeling judged or popping off.”

Anonymous, Fly By Light Participant

“Fly By Light has helped me go to college and express myself. The program has helped me open up to people.”

Damonte, Fly By Light Alumnus

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