"As you may know, I received a LINK award this year to coach the Providence youth poetry slam team. Earlier this year, I was inspired to watch five talented and courageous young people earn their spots on the ProvSlam Youth Team. These young poets were chosen to represent Providence at Brave New Voices, the national youth poetry slam, happening this August in Chicago.
Brave New Voices is not just a competition--it is also a chance to connect with artists from all over the country and globe, attend writing workshops by renowned poets, and foster lasting friendships. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young writers to develop, both as artists and as people.
Unfortunately, financial barriers prevent the team from attending BNV; the total cost to participate (including registration, transportation, and food stipends) is $4,282. Although we have been fundraising across the city, we need support to help the youth share their poetry, create artistic community, and use spoken word as a tool for producing new knowledge about our world.
The ProvSlam Youth Team offers a creative space for marginalized young voices. The youth poets and I are meeting multiple times a week and working tirelessly to write, edit, collaborate, and practice. Not only does this space build crucial literacy skills, it also provides a supportive community in which youth are challenged to grow through conversations about identity and social justice.
Brave New Voices is a unique opportunity to take this work to the next level. It is our hope that Providence continues to support poetry, meaningful expression, and the convergence of art and social change. I am confident that this year’s team--Joely Barrios, Max Binder, Charlotte Abotsi, Kiana Wright, and Seth Larbi—will shine as an innovative group, willing to challenge the status quo and speak truth to justice.
If you are interested in making a contribution and supporting the team's journey to BNV, please go to our indiegogo campaign page at http://igg.me/at/send-PVD-to-BNV/x/3106365. We only have two weeks to raise the funds online, and every little bit counts! Even if you cannot donate, I would truly appreciate you sharing our fundraiser with friends, family, and colleagues. If possible, I would be interested in collaborating with the Swearer Center to help spread the word. The team still has many performances over the summer that the Providence community can attend and support."