Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey, founder of THINKWATTS Foundation, has made it his mission to uplift and empower the struggling community of Watts, California, as well as other underserved areas.
For those who are unfamiliar with the area, Watts – and other areas such as Compton, Inglewood, and South Central Los Angeles – has faced significant challenges over the years. These communities have struggled with poverty, gang violence, and social inequality. The residents of Watts often face challenges such as limited access to healthy food, quality education, and job opportunities.
After a successful career in the music industry, Salaam-Bailey shifted his focus to philanthropy and community development, establishing THINKWATTS Foundation in 2018.
“It’s important that we bring awareness to the struggles faced by these communities,” he says. “THINKWATTS recognizes these struggles. And we are committed to making a positive impact by providing resources and support to uplift the community.”
Through its various initiatives, the foundation aims to empower individuals in Watts and similarly affected regions to overcome these challenges and achieve their full potential.
THINKWATTS Foundation’s core focus areas include food security, financial literacy, entrepreneurship support, sports programming, environmental justice, and workforce development. By providing opportunities in these areas, the foundation seeks to address pressing issues and uplift vulnerable populations.
“We have big plans for the next few years,” says Salaam-Bailey. “As the needs of the communities change, we must change with them. Some things seem to stay the same – the need for food, shelter, and good jobs – while other issues evolve, such as the differing needs we noticed during the pandemic.”
Over the next five years, THINKWATTS Foundation plans to merge its programming with community development initiatives to foster a more productive economy. The foundation’s multifaceted development project includes the construction of affordable housing units, single-family homes, a state-of-the-art sports complex for basketball enthusiasts, a trade school specializing in electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling careers, small retail spaces, and a dynamic makerspace village.
In addition to these initiatives, THINKWATTS Foundation will be inaugurating a preschool in May, focusing on enhancing early learning literacy for children aged 1-6. This innovative preschool will encourage both students and parents by offering performance-based financial incentives for the students and rewarding parents for consistent child attendance.
“THINKWATTS Foundation is committed to creating a brighter future for the Watts community and beyond,” says Salaam-Bailey. “Through our multifaceted development project and new technology center, we aim to empower individuals, families, and the community as a whole, providing access to education, housing, job opportunities, and a sense of belonging.”
As THINKWATTS Foundation expands its reach and impact, it continues to uphold its mission of uplifting and empowering vulnerable populations and fostering a productive economy. To learn more about THINKWATTS Foundation and its initiatives, visit their website at www.THINKWATTSfoundation.org or follow them on social media @THINKWATTSfoundation and @wattsstix.