Created in June 2012, Life Light Street Productions (LLSP) began on the streets of South Jamaica, Queens. Ayanna M. Cole, Founder and Executive Director, began her quest to work toward ways media can be used to transform the perceptions of people of color, while she was working as a Producer at a popular television network. During this time, she learned firsthand about the racial stereotypes that were often reinforced in the news, in television programs and in films.
In 2007, while producing a documentary on teens battling drug addictions and how they recovered, she was exposed to the painful daily realities of many youth in our society. Their stories revealed social, mental, and emotional stresses as well as the financial pressures many youth experience daily. Troubled by the lack of professional and academic support systems and the abundance of criminal justice system contacts, she wanted to do more to initiate change.
In 2008, she formed a group of young professionals and hit the streets of a South Jamaica Queens Housing Project. They spoke with anyone who was willing to discuss their experiences in the community. From these dialogues, Cole began creating workshops and programs to engage youth in the community. Noticing the impact of their efforts, she resigned from her job as a Producer to focus primarily on supporting our youth. In 2012, she started Life Light Street Productions and has not looked back. Since then, LLSP continues to grow and work to instill hope, develop knowledge and build access for youth in the South Jamaica and surrounding Queens community.