Creating Safe Spaces for Youth to Shine

Whether directly or indirectly, exposure to violence deeply impacts a child’s view of the world. Our holistic approach disrupts the cycle of violence by creating safe spaces for youth to process their grief, loss and trauma; learn mindfulness, non-violent communication and coping strategies; and supports them to build positive relationships within their families, schools and communities. Central to our programming is helping youth identify their unique gifts and providing a platform for them to shine their light.

Three-Tiered Continuum of Support

One Common Unity’s continuum of services supports youth through prevention, early intervention, and treatment. We emphasize cultural sensitivity in our staff and curriculum to ensure that we genuinely understand and center the needs of DC’s youth and empower them to reach their true potential.

Staff Headshots

Tier 1: Prevention

Tier 1 offers programming for the entire school community to spread awareness and prevent school violence, mental health issues and drug abuse. With widespread programming and activities, Tier 1 programs aim to reach every member of the school community in some way.

  • Fly By Light
  • Peace Together - SEL Programs
  • Professional Development Trainings
  • Family engagement sessions
  • Community conversations, performances, and events
Tier 2

Tier 2: Early Intervention

Tier 2 offers intervention programming in more personal settings for community members who need more support. Students are referred to Tier 2 programs by school staff who have observed their behavioral challenges or signs of deteriorating mental health.

  • Intention Room
  • Peace Together - 4 Spaces Intervention
  • One-on-one educator coaching
  • Support groups for vulnerable students
Tier 3

Tier 3: Treatment Services & Crisis Intervention

For those in an active crisis, Tier 3 programming offers professional mental health services that are financially, physically, and culturally accessible. Our licensed clinicians support their clients in learning healthy coping skills in the face of adversity.

  • School-Based Behavioral Health
  • Community-Based Behavioral Health
  • Peace Together - Individual Therapy Sessions

5 Pillars of Fly By Light

Infused into every program at One Common Unity are these 5 Pillars of Fly By Light:


Artistic Expression

We strive to nurture students’ abilities to express themselves artistically rather than through violence. This can take the form of music, spoken word, writing, visual arts, and so much more. We are strong believers that the arts can be utilized as a tool for self-expression, global understanding, and healing.

Social-Emotional Literacy

We support students to identify and articulate their own emotions as well as recognize the emotional experiences and needs of others. We equip students with tools of self-awareness, relationship skills, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making so they may become better community members, professionals, and leaders. Students learn how to check in with themselves, as well as express and cope with more difficult emotions.

Health and Wellness

We believe that a balanced lifestyle is imperative in one’s mental health and building healthy communities. Our programs focus on holistic health of the mind, body, and spirit. We work to teach students how to make healthy choices for their bodies, to nurture their spirits, and to care for their minds. Mindfulness is a core tool within this pillar.

Environmental Leadership

We bring youth into nature to deepen their connection to the natural world and develop a profound awareness of the interconnectedness of the environment and social justice. Ultimately, the participants of our programming emerge as passionate stewards of the environment.

Social Justice

We empower students to take action in their communities and become more aware of social justice issues in the world today. We provide a space where students learn about local and global challenges while also gaining support, mentorship, and direction to become leaders. As students explore their personal experiences with injustice, they make commitments to positively change their communities through nonviolent action and conflict transformation.

OCU What we do!

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