Navigate NOLA is the social and emotional community wellness division of DSCEJ Inc. The division takes an asset based approach to cultivating an environment where New Orleans youth can thrive. We utilize existing strengths in the New Orleans community to create sustainable positive youth development programming. Our programming seeks to meet the needs of young people across the various levels of the socio-ecological model (the individual level, the interpersonal level, the community level and the policy/societal level).
The core facets of the division are as follows: Navigate Her Documentary, Navigate Him Documentary, The Navigate Her Leadership Institute, and The High-School HBCU Climate Change Initiative. Through these facets, innovative strategies are utilized to promote leadership, civic engagement, social-emotional intelligence, and to enhance the social support systems of our most vulnerable youth. In addition to our core facets, we offer individualized interventions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of subpopulations within schools and/or youth serving community based organizations.
Navigate NOLA has worked across 10 public schools in the New Orleans area and served approximately 200 children through some iteration of our youth programming.
Let Black Girls Be (2022 Campaign)
The Collaborative for African-American Girls and Women (CAAGW), a powerhouse team of Black women leading organizations that serve black girls in the city of New Orleans, unveils “Let Black Girls Be…”, a new campaign created by Navigate NOLA. The social marketing campaign aims to dismantle racist and sexist attitudes towards black girls that give rise to disparities across the systems with which black girls interface. The campaign’s call to action is unique in that it positions behavior change as the product being marketed, calling on the community at large to shift historically negative attitudes towards black girls and black women to celebrating black girls and extending the same grace to black girls that is extended to their white counterparts throughout girlhood.
The campaign features billboards, located throughout the city of New Orleans, of black and white portraits of black girls, captured by documentary photographer Nina Robinson. The community at large is encouraged to participate in the campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.letblackgirlsbe.com, to create their own images, celebrating black women and black girls, and posting them to social media.
Our Youth Programming
SEW NOLA – Social & Emotional Wellness NOLA
The SEW NOLA project is a social and emotional learning program that seeks to address disparities that exist for low income minority youth, growing up in the post-disaster recovery environment of New Orleans. The SEW NOLA project addresses these disparities by providing school aged youth (pre-kindergarten (4) - 6th grade) with the following skills:
- relaxation techniques and meditation,
- emotional regulation, and
- social facility (the way individuals manage relationships, interact and show caring).
Navigate Her Leadership InstituteThe Navigate Her Leadership Institute (NHLI) is a youth program that falls under the Navigate NOLA division. NHLI is an African-American Female Youth Leadership Training Academy that aims address the challenges that girls of color are confronted with at the intersection of race, class and gender. The 7 month long, school based program is comprised of weekly listening sessions facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker, socio-cultural activities and intergenerational workshops and panels.
The goal of the youth leadership academy is to:
- to promote the positive portrayal of African-American Women,
- to provide African-American girls with positive adult role models, and
- to facilitate the engagement of African-American women cultivating the leadership of African-American adolescent girls. NHLI has been implemented across 3 cohorts at 2 public high-schools in New Orleans.