Art + Media
Artivism, Healing & Expression
Through spoken word and poetry, music and dance, visual arts, and filmmaking, OCU youth are empowered to use artistic expression as an alternative to violence. The arts also serve as a critical source use for healing and a powerful way for youth to express themselves as an extension of their activism.
In partnership with the youth, we’ve created music videos, musical albums, PSAs and documentary films that have won local and international acclaim.
A story about love, loss and hope through creative healing. Marcus Morgan, a talented hip-hop artist, known as Popp Culture, returns to Washington DC to become a youth mentor with the same peace education program (Fly By Light) that helped him heal after losing his brother to gun violence more than a decade before.
Recognition & Accolades
- 2022 BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY film, Hamilton Black Film Festival, CN
- 2022 Official Selection, International Activism Film Festival
- 2021 Official Selection, Visions of Black Experience Film Festival
- 2021 Official Selection, International Social Change Film Festival
A film that literally placed One Common Unity on the map, Fly By Light - The Movie, is an intimate exploration of the chaotic, confusing, and emotional journey to rewrite a young person’s future. The film follows a group of teenagers as they board a bus for West Virginia, leaving the streets of Washington, DC to participate in an ambitious peace education program. For the first time in their lives Mark, Asha, Martha, and Corey play in mountain streams, sing under the stars, and confront the entrenched abuse, violence and neglect cycles of their past.
Recognition & Accolades
“Fly By Light - The Movie” has traveled to 16 international film festivals including South By Southwest (SXSW), has been viewed by tens of thousands of people and received a number of awards, including the audience choice award at the Boulder Life International Film Festival.
One Common Unity and Straight, No Chaser Productions created A NU View originally as an essay contest in which 10 youth winners were selected to create the documentary film A Weigh with Words in order to give young people living in the inner-city an experience of civic engagement through omni-media and innovative peace education.
The MLK Streets Project is the second film produced by the A Nu View Youth Film Project. This second film reflects on the 40th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination by taking talented District of Columbia high school students on an unforgettable tour of MLK boulevards across America.
One Common Unity showcases the vital need for healing and community in the music video for “UNITY.” The song was curated by Popp Culture aka Marcus Morgan, who, as a teenager, spent three years in One Common Unity’s “Revel Youth Shine” youth program.
“Love Yourself!” features DC youth artists Shardia, Nardia, Delvin, and Damonte (also known as Sneaky Bar-Shar, Nfinity Zhy, Dougie D, and D.O.C.), all alumni of One Common Unity’s Fly By Light program. This song was written for a showcase performance at a FBL Retreat.
“Peace & Positivity” features DC hip-hop artists Dougie D and Nfinity Zhy along with poet Isaiah King, all alumni of One Common Unity’s Fly By Light program. The music video was produced with support from the DC Department of Behavioral Health and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
One Common Unity’s Director of Community Engagement Princess Best a.k.a. “The HipHopMomma” uses music to share her message of protecting against the criminalization of young girls in middle school and high school, with her new song “Miss Intention”. Her song’s launch coincides with One Common Unity’s launch of the Intention Not Detention™ program.
From the earliest days of One Common Unity, music was the bedrock of our programming and through various partnerships between youth and artists, we created numerous original songs, known as the “Voices of a Movement.”