Programs and Projects

The Shades of Black Show™

Created by Kwapi Vengesayi in 2003, the Shades of Black Show is a showcase that celebrates the different textures and dimensions of the multicultural experience through the performing Arts. It has established itself as one of the most anticipated productions in the northwest region of the United States and won he 2015 National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) West Region Outstanding Multicultural Program of the Year and the 2016 Student Entertainment Board Program of The Year at Washington State University.

Using voices and talent from different universities and the local community, the show explores and celebrities issues related to diversity, acceptance and inclusion through dance, poetry, song and other forms of the performing arts. The Shades of Black Show continues to live up to its reputation as phenomenal space for self-expression as it strives to give people an opportunity to express who they are and how their own identity, experiences, and observations relate to their surroundings and society as a whole.

Good Black Reads

The Good Black Reads initiative was created by Kwapi Vengesayi to support, highlight, and celebrate well-known, as well as unknown aspiring black authors. Sharing images, book descriptions, reviews and author profiles, Good Black Reads is a much needed program meant to explore, discover, and celebrate black writers, storytellers and educators who put pen to paper and capture the essence of the black experience and more.


Platforms of Engagement: Instagram @goodblackreads: For those eager to find well-known & unknown contemporary black literature written around the world

Facebook: Good Black Reads Group: This group is meant to be a meeting space for self-published and aspiring authors of color. It functions as a platform and forum for authors of color to share resources, ideas, tips and tricks on self-publishing and authorship.

The Shades Initiative

Founded by Kwapi Vengesayi, The Shades Initiative‘s mission is to conceptualize, execute and support innovative and engaging programs and initiatives that explore, educate on, and celebrate matters relating to community, diversity and inclusion.



  1. To create programming focused on community building, addressing social issues and promoting social change;
  2. To provide members of diverse communities with different platforms and opportunities for self-expression and empowerment;
  3. To facilitate and/or participate in workshops, moderated discussions, guest lectures and other programs that provide safe and open spaces for learning and dialogue;
  4. To use technology and other 21st century innovations to further educate on issues related to diversity and inclusion as well as elevate and increase the visibility and voices of those who are champions of it;
  5. To make our expertise and knowledge available to others through partnerships and consultation services.