If the mission of Power Speaks Louder doesn’t grab you—and it will—then surely its tagline is one for the books: “To educate, empower, and transform lives by the power of words. Powerful indeed.
Power Speaks Louder (PSL) has made valiant attempts to service the underserved communities throughout Coachella Valley in the seven years it’s been running. Think of it as a multidimensional non-profit organization that administers several programs and services to “transform” the lives of youth in crisis, low-income families, and the homeless.
There is a multi-layered approach to how creatively it does that, much of it fueled by Founder / CEO B. Hunter and the stalwart team of coworkers and volunteers. The nonprofit aims to empower social-emotional development paired with need-specific resources. Truly unique is the organization’s motivational messaging, outreach food distribution, health and wellness, artistic installation experiences, creative arts, inspirational film, and collectible products.
All of it is downright inspiring and better still is how well the group meets the diverse needs of people locally and globally.
Hunter was passionate about launching Power Speaks Louder back in 2016. As an artist, she attended the Fashion Institute of Design Merchandising and designed footwear in New York City from 2010 to 2014.
“‘Nonprofit’ was something I didn’t even know about or thought I’d ever be interested in,” she admits. “So, when I was facing deep depression after moving from New York back to California around 2015, I really cried out and prayed about my purpose. Then I got inspired to start an organization to really serve people.”
Using her gift in graphic design, marketing, and creating standout visual components, the organization took flight during the 2016 election year. With her creative eye and passion for film, Hunter was able to share the stories of people in need throughout the Valley, particularly on social media, and keep individuals up to date on what the organization was doing through content creation.
“We had limited resources when we started and began the organization in my mom and dad’s house,” Hunter says. “Then we changed everything to be a corporate office. I mean we’ve had community members, we’ve had elected officials come by, and they love it. It’s like this hidden secret, but we utilized our resources the best way we could, and it led us to all these amazing milestones.”
Recently Power Speaks Louder received a California Creative Corps Fund grant from Inland Empire Community Foundation. The funds will play a vital part in assuring several initiatives continue moving forward smoothly and that various individuals can benefit from the work Power Speaks Louder does.
“The funds we received will impact us tremendously because we’ll be able to amplify the voices of our community members and it will enable us to bring their inspiring stories to life through the art of film,” Hunter says. “We will be able to work with film artists, videographers, and people who can truly tell the story as a documentary.”
Capturing peoples’ stories is vital, Hunter is quick to add, because it will illuminate, “why these people are in the position they’re in from the pandemic, and how our organization is meeting a need.”
To be sure, the organization is like a wonderful speeding zephyr delivering hope throughout the area. Its services stretch far and wide, and Hunter noted that the nonprofit hosts three separate programs to meet the distinct needs of various individuals in Coachella Valley.
There’s a free food drive-thru where Power Speaks Louder distributes food boxes to the community twice a month. To date, the organization has served more than 24,000 food boxes to the community, a milestone considering it launched that program back in 2020. “We started that program and we just never stopped,” Hunter muses, noting that the organization initially sought out local partners to provide food.
Servicing the homeless population is also key. To that end, Power Speaks Louder’s vibrant bus—the phrase “Who Cares? We Do.” adorns the side of the vehicle—travels throughout the cities, “going into the trenches” looking for people who may need food service. Black and white bags filled with food are distributed at various stops.
“It makes an impact in people’s lives and our goal is to restore dignity and respect within the community,” Hunter shares. “We have other additional resources inside the bus, but it speaks volumes when we’re engaging with people.”
When asked how she maintains her relentless drive Hunter says: “The ambition truly comes from seeing the progress—from how we started to how it grew to the people being serviced.
“Hundreds of people come by the drive-thru. Some people flag down the bus because now they recognize it,” she adds. “I want people in the community to be aware that other people are facing similar challenges, and that they’re not alone—that there is an organization here that truly cares.”
For more information on Power Speaks Louder, visit powerspeakslouder.org. Learn more about the Inland Empire Community Foundation at iegives.org.
This story originally appeared in the Press Enterprise November 2023.
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