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“There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to RISE.

The human soul cannot be permanently chained.” 

W. E. B. Du Bois

R.I.S.E. (Responsive Initiatives for Social Empowerment), is an independent black-led and founded 501c3 non profit community arts & culture organization dedicated to the development of creative programming and events that aim to transcend cultural barriers while promoting more awareness, vibrancy, inclusiveness and resiliency for the greater Chattanooga communities.



Sneakers can be about style, history and even community. A new study reveals that for “Sneakerheads,” sneakers are an important facet of their identities, particularly in the African American diaspora.


Join us as we exhibit the visual artistry of local artist LaToya Paris / @adfcustoms as she has merged her creative talents of customized designs and Hip Hop onto different forms of canvases!

My name is LaToya Paris, I was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. I went to Brainerd High School, where i fell in love with Art and Music. I participated in the Legendary Brainerd Marching Band!! 
After graduating I’ve continued to volunteer and participate with helping with the Band and still do so till this day. My love for art came from always traveling with the band and seeing different places, and noticing everywhere we went, people had way better looking shoe selections than we did in the city.
After getting injured at work in 2005, i started drawing a lot out of boredom, then my friends would say you are really good, must try drawing on other things. Then a light bulb went off, and i started drawing on shoes, clothes, hats, and that made me look for something else.

I use to notice Cigar wrappers all on the ground, at the gas stations. It made me look at them like money. Why not take them and make art out of them?? So that’s when I began to create the Cigarillo poster pictures! Doing the pictures helped me get better at doing shoes, because it’s all about the details.

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Chattanooga's Culinary Creative Culture

"Let it Burn" is a curated web series featuring the art of cooking from an African American & Latino perspective. The series features the skills and personalities of our guest cooks who happen to be Chattanooga community leaders, advocates, and entrepreneurs. as well as some of our favorite local minority owned venues/eateries. 


When children of color don’t see themselves in books it can negatively impact their self-esteem and impressions of the world.


We sought to play a small yet crucial role with the support of Humanities Tennessee in bringing more educational opportunities on diversity and inclusiveness to our community with the development of a free community bookstore within our facility and mini mobile library boxes throughout the community that addresses the lack of cultural representation in young adult and children literature.



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