About Us

Start:Empowerment (S:E) is a rapidly growing 501c3 nonprofit working in NYC and Austin established in 2019 by Kier Blake and Alexia Leclercq. 


S:E provides learning experiences that foster self-reflection, mindful relationship building, and sustainable community participation in local justice work. By integrating standardized, social- and environmental justice content and practices into pre-existing curricula and utilizing project-based learning in the classroom, students can explore their interests and identities in relation to social-environmental justice as they demonstrate their knowledge.


Our informed activism project helps students navigate digital organizing spaces and practice abolitionist social-emotional learning (SEL) in their virtual relationships and communities. Because our courses and projects revolve around the indispensability of youth of color, our community development micro-grant project gives youth the opportunity to transform their innovative community development ideas into practical activities that will positively impact their local neighborhood and disrupt inequities. Through this program, we connect students with professional practitioners and other resources that enable them to develop their voice and agency as community change-makers


In 2020-21, S:E expanded from its two founders to include a volunteer staff team managing everything from publications to community engagement, e.g. eventsnewsletters, and other initiatives. Our growth initiatives for 2022 include the funding and building of our Climate Justice Community School (CJCS) set to launch in the summertime! The school aims to raise public consciousness on social- and environmental justice issues, nuances, and intersectionalities within the environmental and climate spaces. We do this by creating accessible, radical community courses, excursions, and webinars on a wide range of topics for the general public. 

Stay tuned for the introduction of our new, monthly zine on Patreon


Our co-founders, Alexia Leclercq (left) and Kier Blake (right).