The Delta Project

The Delta Project

The Delta Project

We are a start-up non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young men dealing with the juvenile justice system. You will have an opportunity to help make real systems change in our community by assisting us with narrative storytelling, and programs that support young men on probation.  
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Company Information

“How do I become something I don’t see?”

From this simple question, The Delta Project was born.

The Delta Project exists to break the generational cycle of incarceration by reconnecting youth of color and their families to community relationships through mentorship, coaching and storytelling.

In 2017, a student in juvenile detention asked Cole Williams a simple, yet profound question, "how do I become something I don't see?"

Cole's life work is to provide mentorship and guidance to incarcerated fathers and restore relationships between boys and men of color. He has experienced and seen a lot in his life, but still, this question caught him slightly off guard.

It was the right question to ask, at the absolute right time. It required reflection, and ultimately action. Cole met with Joel Van Kuiken in late summer 2017 looking for guidance on how to deconstruct the question's meaning and context, and most importantly, how to act. Shortly after they met, Joel reached out to Eric Johnson, a trusted creative collaborator from Gorilla Productions, and posed the question to him.

A year and a half later that question became a north star for the launch of The Delta Project. At its core, it's a focused effort to help young men in the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center become something they don't see.

Pre-covid, The Delta Project team developed a video storytelling process that uses a two-way mirrored camera device that lets two people look into each other's eyes and carry on a conversation. The result is a fascinating split-screen video dialogue that allows the viewer to almost join the conversation. But here's what's great about it. Young men in juvenile detention are taught video production skills, and one of them is trained to conduct an interview with a leader from the community who they wouldn't have the opportunity to see.

In 2021, The Delta Project is working to expand our impact within the West Michigan community through direct support of young men who have returned from residential treatment programs through a variety of focused programs designed to meet the young men's needs.
How many internships are you providing to the program?: 8
Placements require a financial obligation of $1,600 for each youth under 18 years old, and $2,000 for each intern 18 or older. Please indicate if you are a nonprofit organization and need wage assistance.: Yes
What transportation options for getting to and from work are available to you?: By Public Transport (Bus, Wheels to Work, or Bike/ Walk), N/A - Virtual Work Only
Public Transportation Supports: Proximity to bus line and details of which line/stop. Wheels to Work program participation and cost.: Not sure what the above statement is asking. I will answer by saying that the location that the building is located is near public transportation.
Is your organization a Minority Business Enterprise?: No
Diversity Equity, & Inclusion Commitment: Share your organizations commitment to DEI, including local or national diversity commitments/pledges, links to public content outlining your strategy, and current representation in leadership and the general workforce.: As a new grassroots organization we are committed to DEI first through leadership and secondly through our work to support youth of color involved in the JJ System. We have been intentional by partnering with the NAACP and Bethany as ways to create space for programming for youth of color.