New Wilderness Project NW

New Wilderness Project NW (NWPNW) offers a range of programs designed to prepare middle and high school youth, pre-service teachers, educator, and leaders to be powerful change agents and stewards of inclusive, inspired, brave, and soulful educational environments.

  • The content combines live musical performance, structured dialogue, creative expression activities, and experiential learning.
  • The arts-based curriculum is designed to grow deeper understanding, empathy, relationships and connections across the spectrum of identities including (but not limited to) culture, race, gender identity, ability, age, belief, economics, learning preferences and academic history.
  • The process is designed to not only to support higher academic achievement, but also deeper civic engagement. Student participants engage using the Youth Equity Stewardship curriculum and workbook published through Corwin Press.

Adult participants engage using the Creative Inclusion professional development process and manual. Participants will gain skills and are empowered for active stewardship of inclusive school climate. Student participants will gain a critical lens for recognizing and supporting efforts to eliminate educational disparities. They will be prepared to lead activities and dialogue with peers, younger students and adults. Adult participants will gain a deeper understanding of students’ experience in school and hard skills for achieving higher levels of engagement with traditional high achievers and historically marginalized youth.

All gifts are tax deductible. Contact us to let us know if you would like to volunteer directly with this project. 

New Wilderness Project NW Leadership Team

Benjie Howard, Project Leader

Benjie Howard is the founder and executive director of New Wilderness Project, a musical performance group and an arts based education program focusing on developing youth leadership for equity and social justice. He is the co-author of the Youth Equity Stewardship (YES!) curriculum and the lead Deep Equity consultant with Corwin Press. He is a touring singer-songwriter with 4 albums, including his collaborative 2015 release, BORDERLESS with Wade Colwell-Sandoval. He is the co-founder and lead songwriter for the Northwest based band Coldwater Collective. His first book of poetry, Separation Point is due out in 2017. Benjie is a river guide and wilderness educator on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon where he has been designing and leading educational expeditions for teachers, leaders and youth since 1995.

Wade Antonio Colwell, Adjunct Consultant/ Artist


Wade Antonio Colwell is a devoted Artivist & rising voice for deepening relations across generation and difference. A veteran educator, Wade engages the creative/cultural modalities of song, spoken-word, movement, ceremony and restorative practice. He is the co-founder of Youth Equity Stewardship (YES!), an arts- based, experiential and inter-generational process of transformational stewardship of our school communities. His touring multi-media performance Borderless, with YES! Co-Founder Benjie Howard, is a folk & hip hop fused journey examining the intersections of race, class, identity, immigration, sexual orientation and gender while centering strongly in environmental & indigenous peoples' justice. He is co-founder/ MC of the pioneering academic hip hip duo Funkamentalz, national lead consultant with Corwin Press (Deep Equity and Student Aspirations) and the Restorative Practices Educator for NYC-based Counseling in Schools. Wade is also a founding poet laureate of Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American / Raza Studies Department.