Welcome to

Amplify America

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Amplify America is a movement that highlights social issues, the people affected by them, and the people working to find solutions to our nation’s most persistent problems. Amplifiers are people striving to live better lives, people considered advocates and experts in their field, everyday people who freestyle creative solutions to persistent social issues, and YOU — concerned individuals eager to make a difference through informed action and a diligent commitment to sustainable change.

Meet our host

April Yvonne

April Yvonne Garrett

April Yvonne Garrett is a public and applied historian dedicated to encouraging civic participation. For more than 25 years, she has been a sought-after public intellectual skilled at distilling complex social issues for everyday people.

April is adept at creating engaging, thought-provoking spaces for people to contemplate the impact of the issues of the day. Her work provides them with useful tools for solving problems for human good.

As president of Amplify America, she highlights social issues, the people affected by them, and the people dedicated to solving our nation’s most persistent problems. April uses their experiences and public and applied history to stir a strong call to action and an urgent commitment to real-world engagement.

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Previously, April served as founder and president of Civic Frame, a national nonprofit organization that hosted public programs using documentary film and intellectual work to encourage critical thinking, media literacy, and civic engagement.

Her dynamic programs wed media arts, decision-makers, thought leaders, activists, artists, and the general public with colleges and universities, public libraries and museums, and public radio and television stations in diverse communities across the country.

The organization used more than 50 social issues-focused documentaries like Fred Friendly Seminars, Manhood and Violence: Fatal Peril, Critical Condition, Waging A Living, Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, Revolution ’67, Immokalee U.S.A., The Trials of Darryl Hunt, The Interrupters, Omar and Pete, and What I Want My Words To Do To You. It reached over 100K people through 100 unique public venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, Harvard Divinity and Law Schools, Northwestern University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the University of Vermont. Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Health Care for the Homeless, Job Opportunities Taskforce, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy Research were among the organization’s 150 national community partners.

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Amplify Baltimore, presented by Civic Frame

On a local level, she spearheaded Civic Frame Presents Amplify Baltimore, a series of quarterly conversations with a diverse array of people that highlighted how specific social issues affected the city.

With the support of over 100 ambassadors from diverse sectors and communities, Amplify Baltimore hosted quarterly conversations that explored some of the most challenging issues faced by the people of Baltimore. Each conversation highlighted how a specific issue affected the city and provided a clear path to a number of tenable solutions accessible to a diverse array of people. Topics included political literacy, public safety, public education, workforce and economic development, financial literacy, affordable housing, access to food, public and environmental health, and public transportation. At the conclusion of each conversation, people connected with information and entities to generate proactive and sustainable results. 

Amplify Baltimore evolved into a weekly, 30-minute television series that highlighted the people, organizations, and businesses working to make Baltimore better. April served as its producer, writer, and host. The national and local models of civic engagement promoted by Civic Frame and Amplify Baltimore inspired her to create Amplify America.

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After the television show, April hosted the popular podcast, The AYG List, which featured intimate conversations with fascinating people and covered current events. Guests included NAACP Legal Defense Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill, MIT historian Craig Steven Wilder, Harvard art historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, Slate executive editor Josh Levin, and contemporary artist Tim Okamura.

Before using her talents to empower others by advancing civic participation, April excelled in the education and social justice arenas, shaping intellectual and campus life at Columbia, Emory, and Harvard Universities, as well as the civil rights agenda of the NAACP. She served as Resident Program Assistant of the Intercultural Resource Center at Columbia University and Director of New Student Orientation and Assistant Director of Student Activities at Emory University.

While a Harvard University Presidential Administrative Fellow, she was Fellows Officer of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, a Freshman Proctor for the Freshmen Dean’s Office, Visiting Scholars Coordinator for the inaugural Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and the American Repertory Theatre, and a Teaching Fellow in the Department of African and African American Studies. After her time at Harvard, she was appointed the first Director of Administration and Strategic Planning of the national NAACP.

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April provided administrative, editorial, and research assistance on such notable publications as the Encarta AfricanaThe Harvard Guide to African American History, and Transition Magazine. She was the special guest editor of the first Afro Chronicles of the Afro-American Newspapers Commemorative Edition of the NAACP 91st Annual Convention, which earned her the National Newspapers Publishers Association’s Leon H. Washington Award for Best Special Edition, and is a contributing essayist in the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips & Other Parts edited by Ayana Byrd and Akiba Solomon. April served as guest editor of DiverCity: The Changing Face of Baltimore, a 12-part, year-long series on race and ethnicity featured in Baltimore Magazine. Editorials she penned on social justice issues have appeared in the Afro-American Newspapers and the Pittsburgh Courier and the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore City PaperBaltimore ExaminerChicago TribuneAfro-American Newspapers, and regional NPR, ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates have featured her work.

Her altruistic commitments include increasing Black, first-generation, low-income, and women’s admission, matriculation, and success rates at community colleges, colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, domestic violence survivor safety, support, and sustenance, former offender re-entry and re-enfranchisement, violence interruption, and restorative justice.

She has served as president of the Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ae of African Descent and member of the Harvard Divinity School Leadership Council, founder and chair of the Kenyon College Alumni of Color Collective, member of the Kenyon College Alumni Council and Kenyon Fund Executive Committee, and as the first female vice-president of the Baltimore City College Alumni Association. April also served on the boards of the Justice Project of Philander Smith College and the National Black Pre-Law Admissions and Preparation Conference and Law Fair.

As a first-generation, low-income, woman of color, April earned degrees in Islamic studies from Kenyon College, higher and adult education from Teachers College Columbia University, and African American Religious History from Harvard Divinity School. The Daily Record named her one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women and Leading Women and she was inducted in the inaugural Who’s Who in Black Baltimore.

She is the recipient of the Community Service Award from Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Kenyon College, and the Exemplary Service Award from Harvard Divinity School.

April practices Vipassana meditation and Bikram yoga and is an Usui Reiki Master.

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Amplify America

Interns

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Kaya Karibi-Whyte

Production Intern

Kaya Karibi-Whyte is the Production Intern for Amplify America and an American Studies major at Kenyon College. Kaya has long been attracted to advocacy work, beginning with knocking doors for multiple political candidates in her home state of New Jersey throughout high school. After high school she took a year to explore the field of environmentalism and environmental advocacy in diverse locations, first working on a small farm and intentional community in Western Virginia, then volunteering at an environmental nonprofit in New Orleans, and finally working to help make change at the local level as a legislative intern at the New York League of Conservation Voters. Growing up in an African-American and Nigerian household instilled the value of understanding diverse perspectives early on and she hopes to bring that knowledge to Amplify America. In her free time, Kaya enjoys listening to audiobooks and taking long walks.

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Alexander Wierciszewski

Audio Engineer

Alexander Wierciszewski is a 22-year-old musician and audio engineer hailing from Philadelphia. As the co-founder and talent manager of the independent record label 215Alive, his engineering catalog spans well over a dozen artists and over 200 songs. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies & Production at Temple University in 2021, Wierciszewski began working as editor of “The Raw Report,” a weekly podcast hosted by Dice Raw of the legendary Roots Crew. In addition to engineering, Wierciszewski also writes, records, produces, and engineers his own music from home, releasing it on all major platforms under the name Little Bomb.