Justin Lopez and Ryan Parker have launched a new movement that emphasizes joy and happiness as a form of activism in the face of trauma and oppression. Their project, Happyvism, aims to activate and spread joy throughout Black and Brown communities and beyond. 

The inspiration for Happyvism came from a feeling that turned into a song, then a video, then a book, and now a movement. Lopez and Parker are on a mission to create spaces of radical joy, justice, and possibility through various art forms and authentic human connection. 

The duo has appeared at prestigious institutions such as Harvard Graduate School, the UConn NEAG School, Stanford Graduate School of Education, and University of Massachusetts. They have also received the “Expressions of Peace” award from the Peace Center of Connecticut. 

On Friday, March 31, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., via Zoom the Global Citizenship Project is hosting an interactive event featuring Justis Lopez as he guides and engages the audience in Happyvism. The event will enhance the reading of The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, emphasizing maintaining happiness about who you are and what you think, say, and do in a world that consistently goes against the grain of your identity, specifically as it relates to Black and Brown boy joy.

Lopez is an educator, DJ, poet, activist, son, and brother who founded Just Experience LLC, a start-up company that strives to educate, entertain, and empower communities worldwide. He focuses on supporting educators and college access professionals in and outside of the K-12 and higher education classrooms, as well as supporting national efforts for students as a part of the federal TRIO programs.

Parker is the Poet Laureate of Manchester, CT, and is on a mission to disrupt oppressive legacy embedded in educational spaces. His work focuses on race in education, the power of hip-hop pedagogy, and the necessity of centering black and brown youth and amplifying their lived experiences, voices, and brilliance.

Join the Happyvism movement and spread joy and activism in your community today. Link to register: https://brookdalecc.zoom.us/j/97464354077