By J.J. McQueen,
Special to the AFRO

This year’s STRUT fashion show was held at the BWI Hilton, and in its’ 9th annual showing, the fundraiser’s mission is to support AZIZA PE&CE (AP), a non-profit organization committed to marginalized youth, didn’t disappoint with evening of high energy and excitement. 

Entering its 13th year of operation, AZIZA PE&CE—AZIZA meaning precious, gorgeous, powerful in Swahili, and PE&CE standing for Positive Energy & Cultivating Excellence—has grown into a trusted organization for teenagers and young adults. AP uses fashion, culture, music, fitness, and the arts to inspire positive growth and social- and emotional-strength in young adults. The STRUT event puts a strong emphasis on supporting its target audience of young women, and LGBTQ+ youth living in Baltimore City and surrounding counties.

REBOUND, a program for young adults in recovery, was also among the featured runway participant groups that graced the stage at the STRUTT fashion show. Alongside the organization’s participants were President and CEO Sakina Dean, and Executive Director Ericka Alston-Buck.    

The participating members of REBOUND, are all formerly homeless youth that now live in supportive housing, while being engaged in a trauma responsive approach to substance use and mental health supports.   

Divine Light, the parent organization of REBOUND sponsored this year’s fashion event to partner to provide their substance and mental health supports.  

With the long reach and help of social media, the young adults of REBOUND received suits, gowns, shoes and accessories from donations from the Baltimore and surrounding communities. 

For many in the program, this will be their first time in formal attire and an opportunity to walk the runway, while experiencing the bonus of sitting in VIP section of the venue.  

“We have a young man that will be wearing a gray suit blazer for the first time since the 8th grade. He’s excited about having the opportunity to be in the show.”For more information on how to support the efforts of the REBOUND program click here.

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!