Make A Move LA chess tournaments attract people of all ages. (Courtesy photo)

In January 2022, Jerimiah Payne founded Make A Move LA, an organization devoted to community development through public entertainment events, particularly chess.  However, Make A Move LA’s approach to hosting tournaments spotlighting the strategic board game includes singers, spoken word artists, comedians, and a live deejay.

On July 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Make A Move LA will host their next event at the Palm Grove Social, located at 4660 W. Washington Blvd., in Los Angeles.

Make A Move LA officially received its non-profit status in May 2022 as an initiative to bring children, parents, and the community together.  Payne learned how to play chess in the third grade and wanted to share his passion for the game with urban youth.

He cites chess as a mental exercise that expands critical thinking and quick decision making.  He believes chess is beneficial to shaping the outlook of young people by tapping into their impressionable mindset.

The tournaments are also used as fundraising tools for the Youth See More Foundation, a subsidiary of Make A Move LA committed to exposing kids to the world through art and travel.

Payne himself benefited from such a program, the performer Usher’s New Look Foundation, which proved to be an inspiration for his own philanthropic work.

Payne wants his efforts to be sustainable for the community, and public support thus far has been outstanding.  “Everyone believes in it,” Payne says. “It started out as just an idea, then everybody wanted to take time out of their busy schedules to make it happen.”

The event includes entertainment such as singers and musicians. (Courtesy photo)

The primary challenge Payne faces is securing financial resources to fund the events.  He currently works two jobs, the second solely to support Make A Move LA.  Juggling the planning of the events with two jobs is hard for Payne.  But, he knows how important his work with youth is to the community, and it is a major driving force.

For the foreseeable future, Payne would like to establish a co-working space in the neighborhood where creatives can come to conceive ideas and network, and where people of color can see people who look like themselves.

Moving forward, Payne seeks donations and extra hands to volunteer.  “This support helps to actualize our vision, also spreading the word,” Payne says.  “These events are unique, one of a kind, and free.”

The Make A Move LA Chess Tournament is free to the public, but donations are welcome. As Payne emphasizes, “It is an opportunity to learn chess, play chess, and network.”

The half-time show will consist of live performances featuring singer Brittney Jaii, comedian Eric Bryant, spoken word artist Ravina Wadhwani, comedienne Kalea McNeill, DJ Thro Bak, and hosted by Dameion Smith.

The organizers of the event include Payne, David Chattem, Melissa Payne, Katrina Payne, Dameion Smith, Richard Smith, and Mark James.

For more information on Make A Move LA, email Jerimiah Payne at [email protected] or on Instagram