Limited Release: October 16, 2019

Public Release: June 4, 2020

Ask a young child what they want to be when they grow up and they will likely give you a list. Their dreams are boundless and they derive genuine excitement from planning their future. They believe they have a future of their own choosing. As boys and young men of color (BYMOC) get older, many lose the sense of the possible. The dehumanization they and their villages face make hoping frivolous when survival becomes the goal.

Dehumanization is the persistent invalidation of humanity through perceptions or actual treatment, and is the cause of generations of historical trauma. At the center of dehumanization is the pervasive idea that people of color do not need, and are not worthy of, basic human dignities. Dehumanization threatens the healthy development of BYMOC and their villages and manifests in the narratives, policies, and practices that impact them.

Paulo Freire wrote “Dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.” Because dehumanization is not a “given destiny,” we can help boys and young men of color to shift the narrative and disrupt the cycles of emotional and physical violence that oppress them. This short film, “I AM HUMAN,” is part of our multi-pronged effort to reclaim and affirm the humanity of BYMOC and their villages.

Clink the link below for more on the dehumanization framework and strategies for disrupting its effects, read and download our paper, Disrupting Dehumanization and Affirming the Humanity of Boys and Young Men of Color and Their Communities.”