by Jasmine T. Murray
Whereas some children look for leaders on television and media, others in the New York City area are looking towards their communities. On June 22, 2016, at NYC Lab High School for Collaborative Studies in Manhattan, the NYC Department of Youth and Communities Development and well-known hip-hop enthusiast and publisher and founder of Darryl Makes Comics, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, came together to present the “DYCD Heroes Project” comic showcase. More than 100 middle school children from 25 DYCD-funded after-school programs and community centers were invited to the event to showcase original comic books with their unique heroes. For the project, Darryl Makes Comics and the Comics Book Project teamed up to encourage young students in NYC to appreciate local heroes in their communities.
Filled with dozens of middle school students, the NYC Lab High School cafeteria erupted with loud noise and laughter as the students anticipated the fun-filled event.
Darryl Rattray, associate commissioner of Community Centers and Strategic Partnerships for the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, had time to talk about the beginnings of the comics program.
“We’re always looking for ways to enhance the work that our nonprofits do,” Rattray stated. “This was a perfect intersection of events. One, we were trying to figure out what do around art. Two, we knew we wanted to do something around comic books. And three, one of our associates ran into DMC and in a meeting we were like, ‘Wow, let’s pull all three together and come up with this comic book project — DYCD Heroes.”
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