DREAM!’s mission is to arm young people and their teachers with practical skills to dismantle the school to prison pipeline, support student engagement with learning and academic success, and encourage the creative confidence of young leaders. DREAM! is accomplishing this mission through two programs: Safety with Dignity, a restorative practice program for teachers and students in middle and high schools and the COVE Media Arts & Literacy program.
In 2009, Aisha Norris co-founded DREAM! to offer media arts programming to established community-based organizations and high schools in the Bronx and Harlem two boroughs that are dear to her. Aisha was born and raised in the South Bronx and spent most of her adult years working in Harlem. She developed her experience in the field first as a student and later by becoming program manager of Harlem Children’s Zone’s TRUCE, a media literacy program. With 12 years of experience in facilitation and management of arts programming Aisha’s goal was to offer a TRUCE-like experience to as many Bronx and Harlem communities as possible. Aisha’s belief is that arts-based trainings enhance young people’s ability and desire to think outside of the box, find their voice, become critical thinkers, and discover talents that can ultimately lead to amazing career opportunities, as it has done for her!