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Who We Are

Mission & History

OUR Mission

To help Houston’s under-served youth become leaders in their communities while developing skills that will expand their college options and prepare them for success. 


All under-served youth will have the opportunity to develop their talent, impact their communities, and access resources that lead to college success


The work of Project Canvas is guided by values that include: 
⬧ Creativity—through the design and implementation of original student research. 
⬧ Integrity—empowering students to finish what they start and keep their promises to themselves and their communities. 
⬧ Stewardship—of intellectual and community resources  
⬧ Community—forming a scholarly community of support as well as empowering students to give back through research and service.  
⬧ Collaboration—Project Canvas teaches students the value of working with their peers and their communities. Research and service are not solitary endeavors but journeys that are untaken alongside others.  


Project Canvas was formed in 2015 under the name Project College Counseling to address the need for need for independent college counseling services in underserved communities, particularly in Southeast Houston. The organization determined that minority college-bound students in Southeast Houston neighborhoods like Sunnyside were finding it difficult to compete for admissions to a range of schools, even if they received personalized college counseling services. While there are outstanding counseling programs that focus on helping high-achieving minority students compete for admissions into Ivy League universities, college counseling for students wishing to apply to a broader range of institutions was scarce or nonexistent for our constituents.    
In February of 2018, the organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to change the organization’s name to Project Canvas, inviting participants to see their communities as a canvas that can display beautiful systemic change and strong student leadership. While Project Canvas is still committed to helping under-served students and families navigate the complexities of the college admission process, the organization is equally committed to empowering students to develop and demonstrate their talent to receive investments like scholarships from their colleges and universities of choice. For example, Project Canvas helped one underperforming student gain acceptance into the prestigious Jazz Studies program at the New School. The ability of this student to showcase his talent and community leadership made him a competitive candidate, and Project Canvas assisted him through each step of the process through its personalized college counseling services.     

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    In the wake of recent violence and brutality against black lives that continues to sweep the nation, BLMHTX formed as a locally-based, and Houston-founded, activist organization and collective of researchers, activists, artists, religious leaders, and community organizers that aims to educate, empower, and build coalition in order to address issues that impact black lives in the city of Houston.

    Our mission is to spark critical visions of a world where black lives matter while working toward making this a concrete reality here in Houston. In all of our work, we emphasize three core tenets: creative imagination, critical dialogue, and coalition building--all in the pursuit of intersectional social justice.

    BLMHTX employs an Ella Baker model of community organizing, a model which brings people together for sustained and coordinated strategic action for social justice. As such, in addition to direct actions and political engagement with local civic leaders, we are committed to building community through programming, trainings, community meetings, and conferences that combine critical dialogue and the arts in ways that creatively highlight and confront issues of racism and social injustice. These community building efforts are central to our aim of curating spaces for disparate members of the Houston community to collaborate, come together, and think about how to contribute to the valuing of black lives through their own areas of interest and influence.

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