We Are Light Inc (WAL) is a nonprofit organization that was birthed out of a need to establish intention, grow ability and cultivate expectation in the darkest areas (on the Westside) of Chicago.
Living in impoverished, densely populated communities often meant receiving little to no support and communal structure. This reality tends to leave youth, its most vulnerable residents, feeling uninspired, betrayed, heartbroken, and lost, without hope in the world. Demetrius Brooks, Handsome (Nahvee) Copening, Marcus Warren along with several other members of Revelations Of Christ Kingdom Ministries saw that need and in 2013, formed We Are Light, believing that to reach the heartbroken and hopeless and be most effective meant taking responsibility and being a constant stimulus for positive transformation. This organization realized the power of change that initially occurred within its members and set out to establish and expose that process with every connection.
Following its inception, We Are Light spent years engaging North Lawndale and Austin communities, building relationships with its residents through dialogue, and being available to connect people with supportive services as needs became more and more apparent. The community expressed its need for positive relatable adult figures and more constructive youth activities that strengthen relationships and help youth build skills for professional development. As the organization grew in notoriety, being labeled ‘the people who care’, it saw its impact on the community and sought to develop a system that could consistently produce that outcome.
In Fall 2018, The Youth Efficacy System was created to offer youth an environment to engage in social, economic, and leadership training as well as foster meaningful relationships with family, peers, and community. Since its inception, the program has mentored dozens of youth and has connected them with opportunities that have made an unforgettable impression on their lives.