The Regenerate Society helps 17-24 year olds make a difference in The Magic City

The Regenerate Society
Members of the 5th Season of The Regenerate Society, Inc. (Welsey Wright / The Regenerate Society, Inc.)

Back in 2017, then-22-year-old Wesley Wright and a group of six other creative friends at UAB came together to form The Regenerate Society, Inc. Playing off the word “degenerate”, their mission was twofold: find their own way, creatively, in Birmingham and serve the broader community. January 10, 2022 marked the beginning of their fifth season. We sat down with Wesley Wright, Founder and CEO, to find out more. Here’s what he told us.

Where the idea for The Regenerate Society, Inc. came from

The Regenerate Society, Inc.
Members of The Regenerate Society, Inc. (Wesley Wright / The Regenerate Society, Inc.)

In 2015, a group of seven UAB undergrad students and alumni came together with a goal of trying to establish themselves in creative fields like rap and photography. It’s important to realize that this is before social media and YouTube gave everybody the platform they can have now.

“Once we came together, we were really excited to understand that God had something bigger in mind than us just being a cool creative collective that could help each other network. We understood that the community could be impacted by what we had to offer the city. So, we decided to see how we could use our talents and gifts to better the community around us, while trying to figure out how we could help bring out the best in each other.”

Wesley Wright, Founder + CEO, The Regenerate Society, Inc.

Season 5 just launched January 10, 2022

Wesley Wright at the Season 5 launch of The Regenerate Society, Inc. (The Regenerate Society, Inc. / YouTube)

Fast forward five years, and they’ve just launched their fifth season. They organize themselves like a professional sports team, complete with numbers, pre-season and the actual season.

Wright said that some of the founders have now moved back to their hometowns, moved on to develop families and/or have become industry leaders in the spaces where they were initially trying to find their place.

Now The Regenerate Society is a five-division nonprofit that provides 17-24-year-olds a platform to find their own place and to see what they can do.

What The Regenerate Society is + how it works

The Regenerate Society, Inc. Juneteenth
The Regenerate Society, Inc., serving with the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation’s Director, Brenda Paige Ward, then-Birmingham Police Chief Smith and Mayor Woodfin. (Wesley Wright / The Regenerate Society, Inc.)

Wright said that the founders knew that everybody wouldn’t have the same gifts or interests. So, they created five divisions that would help young people discover their gifts and their place. This is how he describes the five divisions:

  • Activism: being able to provide a voice for the voiceless.
  • Business: practicing leadership principles in the business world.
  • Creativity: this can range from coming up with an idea or vision, a song or dance, a new take on fashion or anything else.
  • Health + wellness: learning how to take care of your body as a temple.
  • Outreach: showing up and being of service + providing a level of love to somebody who needs it at a time when they probably really need it.

“If you’re 17 to 24, we don’t want you to just do it by yourself—we’re going to put you in a team environment, so that all of your skill sets can come together to create a bigger impact for the community.”

Wesley Wright, Founder + CEO, The Regenerate Society, Inc.

All together,they’ve served over 13,000 people between their events and projects, and the organization is still young. Some highlights include:

  • Community work in Titusville
  • Digital media project (coming soon)
  • Food distribution to families or nursing homes, in partnership with Christian Service Mission
  • Juneteenth festival for the City of Birmingham

Currently, they have 18 members on their active roster. August to January is the pre-season, where they get ready for the season, figure out what they’ll do for the year and establish partnerships and relationships. Then the actual project season starts in January each year.

Board members help open doors and make connections.

Get involved—here’s how

Picking up trash with The Regenerate Society
Members of The Regenerate Society, Inc, doing a service project. (Wesley Wright / The Regenerate Society, Inc.)

Their website will help you do the following:

  • Volunteer or donate: Even if you’re not on the roster, there are events you can help with + you’ll find them on the website. Email and they’ll add you to their community email list so you know when volunteer or donation opportunities are happening.
  • Partner: Check out what’s happening + get in touch if you or your organization would like to partner.
  • Serve on the board: There’s no age limit for this.
  • Invite: The Regenerate Society, Inc. loves receiving invitations to go to different organizations.

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Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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