Elevated Thought ® is an art and social justice Lawrence-based 501(c)(3) organization that actively serves and develops communities through youth empowerment curriculum, beautification projects, youth organizing, and public outreach. At a grassroots level, we believe art has the power to generate awareness and investment in social issues. In centering on youth who are persistently experiencing the devastating consequences of inequality, Elevated Thought provides opportunities for youth and communities to expand their understanding of art's liberating power.
Founded in 2008 and incorporated in 2010, Elevated Thought (ET) serves young people between the ages of 14-20, primarily from Latinx communities in the Greater Lawrence area. Lawrence youth are growing up amid challenging and complex societal factors. More than 75% of the youth served by ET are the first in their families to attend school in the U.S. For youth from immigrant or refugee families, socio-economic determinants may be complicated by conflicting cultural norms within the family and/or the trauma of resettlement in the U.S. Existing institutions, organizations, and structures often fail to provide the nation's poorest and most vulnerable youth with learning opportunities that fit the realities of their lives and that recognize their talents, skills, idealism, and potential to serve as powerful allies in equitable change. While youth-focused programs are beginning to address the myriad challenges faced by Lawrence youth, there are limited opportunities that encourage artistic expression as the means for creative solutions to social issues. ET seeks to fill this void.