Greetings, party people. So in an attempt to faithfully put effort in writing this section of the site, I’ve spent the past couple of days looking for my next topic of discussion. Remember that I aim to use this section for the purpose of highlighting something, be it positive or negative, good or bad. And since I’m not necessarily a fan of negative things, I figured to focus on something for the greater good.
You may or may not know that in my college years, I had the distinct pleasure of becoming a member of the greatest fraternity in the world, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. In the five years that I’ve been a member, I’ve had the opportunity of meeting brothers of all walks of life, professions, ethnicities, and countries of origin, all with the same fundamental purpose of “Honorable Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor”. Two brothers that I have the privilege of getting to know were Kenji Summers and Rob Lewis. In talking to Kenji a few years ago in a chance meeting in New York, he told me of a project that he and Rob were starting. He informed me of a statistic that I had no prior knowledge of: a good 70% of the country’s population does NOT have a passport, and an even bigger part of that percentage is comprised of the country’s minority population. Tracing back to a Pharrell Williams’ lyric in a Lupe Fiasco song and a trip to Spain, Kenji felt as though the costs of international travel should not hold back young people from seeing the joys of the world. Partnering with Rob, the two young men have thus created “The Passport Project”.
Drawing a quote from Kenji, “Passport Project embraces an age where hip-hop and Givenchy are bedmates and teenagers grow up with dreams of creating culture rather than simply consuming it. The goal, in addition to increasing passport ownership, is to inspire and empower young people to consider their existence in relation to the rest of the world as opposed to their immediate reality.” Kenji and Rob brought their idea to life when they partnered up with Brian Blue, or Blue as he prefers, a young brand cultivator from Los Angeles in his first trip out of the Continental US to Equatorial Guinea. Powered by the visuals of Bryon Summers and along with cultural curators Josh and Travis of Street Etiquette, Romantic Movement catalysts Jessie Boykins and Mara Hruby, and other influencers, the three young men managed to capture a journey to a place where few Americans go and further explored what international travel can do for a person.
As I watched this, I felt myself understanding and seeing first-hand that the majority of our nation’s minority youth may have never had the chance to leave their cities and neighborhoods, let alone leave the country. While enjoying the documentary and learning more about Blue and what he aims to do with his brand, it also showed me how powerful a movement like this can be. There might be that one child who could change the world if only he or she has the chance to see it. I fully endorse the Passport Project and everything it stands for, and you should be on the look out for some work between the two of us. Much respect to Blue and everything that he has planned as well.
Check out the first video from Blue’s journey above, check out The Passport Project on Twitter, visit the site and drop off your email. And hopefully you can answer the question: where’s your Passport?