Tyler Grigsby is 826DC’s new Community Programs Manager! They’ll lead our After-School Writing Lab and manage our work with interns, volunteers, and work-study students.
Tyler is an educator, photojournalist, and community organizer from right here in Washington, DC, and has spent over a decade working to empower young people and build a more just world. When Tyler isn’t at 826DC, you can also find them hiking with their dog, making art, or contributing to an urban farm! They’re wonderful and we can’t wait for you to meet them.
In the meantime, check out this Q&A to learn a little more about Tyler:
Name: Tyler Grigsby
Title: Community Programs Manager
Hometown: Washington, DC
What drew you to 826DC?
I’m here because I’m inspired by how 826DC centers young authors, builds their skills, and has fun along the way. Young people have so many important, brilliant, and moving things to say. They deserve to have their ideas and experiences taken seriously. I am honored to have the opportunity to co-create this space where young people can be heard, seen, and celebrated for who they are and what they have to say.
What was your favorite subject in elementary school, and why?
My lifelong favorite subject has always been art. I love experiencing new mediums, trying out new techniques, learning about different artists, and pushing myself to build new creative skills. My first career was even in photography! I still paint, draw, collage, make prints, and take photos for fun. Through art, we can change harmful narratives and imagine different worlds and versions of ourselves.
Which book would you like to read again for the first time?
This is a very tough choice, but I’m going to go with Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
My favorite thing about this book is how it centers reciprocity, connection, science, and action as ways to meaningfully address the climate crisis. It peppers in serious calls to action between heartwarming family stories, factual scientific information, and approaches for making a real difference. There are so many lessons we can learn from this book and our earth about how to organize, to look out for each other, and to grow together.
What inspired you to get involved with this kind of work, and why do you think it’s so important?
I didn’t choose youth work, youth work chose me. I was a young community organizer and freelance photographer before I began working in education. I became a teaching artist and youth organizer, and since then I’ve spent the last decade in various roles supporting the youth of my home city!
Throughout many job titles and organizations, my constant mission has been building young people’s confidence in creative self-expression and building skills for them to be visionary leaders in their communities. I’m so excited to bring this skillset to the wonderful work of 826DC and to learn so many new things along the way.