Jasmine Blanks (MPP '08) is now the executive director of B4--Burning Barriers, Building Bridges--Youth Theatre in Monrovia, Liberia. In August, B4 Youth Theatre premiered Rights of a Child, a play written by students from the Children's Rescue Outreach Center Orphanage Mission in Sinkor, Monrovia. The play was written as a tribute to the passing of the Liberia Children's Law.
B4 Youth Theatre helps children advocate for themselves using the tools of the performing arts. Since 2010, more than 120 children have taken classes in music, dance and theater, producing three original plays that have been performed for audiences across greater Monrovia, Liberia. Leading government officials, including the President of Liberia, have been in attendance at their performances. The children have also played a large part in educating the wider community about issues pertaining to basic human rights for children. All of the issues the children have presented in their plays over the years have been addressed in the Liberia Children's Law that was passed this year. B4 Youth Theatre is planning to expand to five locations in 2013 by training young adults to implement this program model.
A display with more information will be set up at the The World Conference on Remedies to Racial and Ethnic Economic Inequality through the Wilkins Center at the Humphrey School; Blanks will be available to answer questions.