916 Ink is Sacramento’s arts-based creative writing and literacy nonprofit that provides workshops and tutoring to transform Sacramento youth into strong readers, confident communicators, and published authors. Our programs increase literacy skills, improve vocabulary, teach empathy, positively impact social and emotional learning, and expand communication skills. We envision a Sacramento region where every child and teen is given access to a culturally relevant creative writing program that leads them to believe in themselves and to understand the power of the written word.
916 Ink empowers youth through creative writing.
We envision a Sacramento region where every child and teen is given access to a creative writing program that leads them to believe in themselves and to understand the power of the written word.
At 916 Ink, our core values inform and guide our work with every constituency, at every level - from our methods in the classroom to our messaging on social media to how we work with each other in the office.
Empathy - We cultivate an open and compassionate environment.
Empowerment - We encourage each individual to step into their own power.
Equity - We commit to justice and advancing the unique experience and expression of all.
Octopus - We celebrate creativity, bravery, and risk-taking.
Racial Equity Statement
916 Ink recognizes that communities of color in Sacramento have been left behind by decades of systemic racism and oppression. Of particular concern to our organization are the academic achievement and literacy gaps. Fewer than half of Sacramento County third graders read at grade level, and these rates are significantly lower for students of color. To advance our mission of empowering youth through creative writing, we know we must specifically address injustice and racial inequity.
In 2020, 916 Ink's staff collaborated to redefine our organizational values, resulting in a commitment to equity, empowerment, and empathy. Our focus on equity has led us to prioritize accommodations for participants and staff who may need them, and we developed structures for community feedback and culturally appropriate outreach. Utilizing these values as a framework ensures that accessibility and inclusion are better integrated into our daily work and our legacy.
Our workshops operate as a writing community with two trained facilitators participating fully in each session. This approach removes many barriers between instructor and student, allowing for freer and more honest self-expression. We are intentional about facilitator and volunteer placements, taking care to select individuals who come from the communities we serve. Additionally, students are encouraged to write in their own authentic voice, whether that is writing entirely in a language other than English, using cultural terms or slang, or incorporating their preferred dialect of English. Our emphasis that each student “write what needs to be written" means that the student makes all decisions about what pieces they choose to work further on and what gets published. Through these tactics, we affirm our commitment to lifting up the voices of youth of color and supporting our schools and communities in shifting the landscape of inequity.