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Meet Jibeh Fatty, our 2022 Changemaker Award winner!

A young activist and filmmaker uplifting her community.

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A changemaker is someone who inspires. Someone with the tenacity and ambition to identify an obstacle and make it their mission to be the solution. What matters less is their age or background, but the courage they have to take action, no matter what that action may look like. 

For us at Arts Ignite, Jibeh Fatty exudes the essence of a changemaker. Jibeh is an activist, a filmmaker, and a young person who understands their agency and the power that comes with using their voice. Her work is grounded in the rituals and traditions of her community as she challenges old ways of thinking while looking ahead to brighter possibilities. As a Muslim immigrant from the Gambia, West Africa, Jibeh is proud to be able to share stories from marginalized populations and immigrants in an effort to amplify their voices. Through the medium of filmmaking, Jibeh utilizes the power of storytelling to examine different perspectives and inform her peers. She recognizes it as a tool for change, which she uses to convey her message to many audiences. In her own words, she’s “using storytelling as a solution.” 

Jibeh notes how important the support from her community is, which inspires her to dream bigger and brighter. This fuels her mission to help use her creativity to build them up. She takes pride in her culture, including food and clothes, and wants to embrace that in her work. It’s the sisterhood of Gambian women who work alongside her mother, a local hairdresser in the Bronx, that reminds her to speak up. “Women won’t be quiet and say nothing,” Jibeh states. It is women like them who inspire her. Women who persevere. 

It takes a courageous thinker to be a changemaker and Jibeh is exactly that. We are honored to award her our 2022 Changemaker Award. Jibeh recently graduated from New Design High School and plans to use this gift to support her education at City College in the Fall. She will be studying documentary filmmaking and media. 

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