Innovative Change Makers (ICM) stands on our mission statement:
Working together as a Community to provide innovative alternatives to hazardous lifestyles. Successfully reaching our Youth through ongoing mentorship, peer-mediation, Job Readiness Training, and our modular curriculum. Highlighting the essential fundamentals of a healthy, legitimate, and prosperous way of life.
Innovative Change Makers (I.C.M) knows the strength derived from a community of contributing people and have created programming to support that belief. We are a community of experienced role models and professionals who will pour love, support, encouragement and celebration into the hearts, minds, and experiences of our youth. We are the ones who can successfully create spaces for members of our BIPOC communities to be safe and feel secure. Safe spaces are important because everyone needs a place where they can decompress from the various stresses of life. It is our duty to instill the strong sense of community that once fueled us, and teach our younger generations the power of togetherness. We will take a holistic approach towards our BIPOC peers and youth by addressing the most pervasive issues of their whole life experience. Our main concerns include Mental Health (such as home life solutions and coping with personal traumas), Positive Social Interaction (such as alternatives to gang affiliation and counteracting antisocial behavior), Employment (job readiness training and job opportunities) and Financial Literacy (how to successfully manage banking, credit, retirement, investing, real estate, business, ownership, and establishing essential community institutions). Innovative Change Makers intends for our community engagement to help individuals take appropriate actions to better their lives and to help establish communities that have the resources to determine their own destiny.
I.C.M President & Founder, Brian Gatewood Sr.
“We focus on these youth, because we were these youth. We address these issues,
because we had these issues.”
Brian Gatewood Sr. is the founder and President of Innovative Change Makers (I.C.M.). His passion for our community is deeply rooted in his experiences in our community. He knows what the problems are, and he knows how to address them. Through his life story, his involvement in youth programs, and his professional training, Brian stays conscious and relevant to the challenges that young people face today. He says, “It is my passion to provide our youth with the support and resources that I wish I had when I was that age.” The I.C.M. motto is, "Change starts with YOUth." The implication is that lasting change in the community starts when YOU do something to make conditions better for our youth. We are not going to wait for others to provide what we know is needed. The community can work together for the common good. As a collective we have everything we need to make a difference. I.C.M. is working with volunteers, businesses, government agencies, and other local organizations to create safe spaces for our youth to thrive. We will provide legitimate alternatives for our youth that keep them out of the jeopardy and harm’s way that resides in their environment every day.
Brian has been through the Washington State Juvenile Detention System as well as Washington State Department of Corrections, and recognizes the importance of keeping our youth away from such systems, as well as supporting and redirecting those that have been in them. Brian recognizes the power of building long-term relationships with our youth, as opposed to short lived programs with limited access to information, opportunities, and assistence. Brian is a dedicated father, he has coached for Tacoma Panthers Junior Football Team, was owner of I.N.K. Productions, held positions as a high school level Academic Youth Interventionist, and has worked in several functions for Urban League of Seattle and Tacoma. He started Innovative Change Makers to create a platform for community leaders to connect with our youth, and share the resources, knowledge, and experiences that inspire success. We can build up our youth by using our power and influence to effect relevant change in their lives. As local business owners, local nonprofit organizations, and parents of the very youth we serve, we can support one another and ourselves through contribution and cooperation. We can indeed, “Be the change.”