After attending Chicago's Black and Brown Punk Fest in 2013, D.O.P.E. Collective co-founders were inspired to create modes of political education and highlight punk and hip hop culture, which was stigmatized, in their hometown of Buffalo, NY. 20-somethings: Ineil Quaran, Chrysalisamidst, Obsidian Bellis, Jamiah Mootry, and Khari Waits started the Dismantling Oppressive Patterns for Empowerment Collective with their first punk-rap show in March 2015.
Coming off the heels of Black Lives Matter, D.O.P.E. Collective was finding its identity between worlds of anti-oppressive organizing, non-profit industries, growing Black entrepreneurship, non-traditional education, and underground arts. These intersections defined the collective as both nomadic and crucial, as art venues and punk houses were targeted for evictions; and the third wave of identity politics settled.
In 2016 D.O.P.E. Collective developed its first workshop and series, Deconstructing Masculinity, an overview of masculinity and gender through various scientific and hxstoric contexts. At this time most co-founders started to disband, and the new leadership: Jason Cathcart, Vondale Walker and Kenny Hollins established the collective. From 2016-2019, establishing members had hosted over 50 events including clothing swaps, open mics, roundtable discussions, festivals, community fundraisers, workshops, and more.
During covid-19 D.O.P.E. Collective changed its mission, becoming project based as a means of sustainability and personal nurturance. Rather than deciding on one collective direction; efforts are to guide members towards completing their goals, fulfilling community and self.