This July I had the privilege to Co- Direct with Isa Guapazawa a young group of emerging leaders called Future Corps at the 2012 Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Slam. These 18 participants came from all across the U.S. to train as arts administrators and flex their skills as facilitators, Emcees, Poets and mentors. Future Corps as a program was imagined by Hodari Davis, Producing Director of Youth Speaks Inc., to be the “Vehicle for youth curated space. ” I cannot express how honored I am to know, work and learn along side these individuals who were that and more. The depths of the devotion to the youth movement these people have is something like I have never seen. They were all once slammers, participants in the ploy of sporting and competing poetry and have earned their reputations and respect as beasts on the mic, but their pulse is beyond that. These young adults exhibit the power of youth work, the power of compassion. For a generation seeking a stronger educational system these young adults are here to answer the call by sharing all they know and stepping up to the plate to learning more. They understand their gifts come with responsibilities and they don’t take the task lightly. BNV was only the beginning. You will see them make moves in their respective cities and in the arts and activism world as a whole. Watch for these names, and remember, I tried to told you.
Sterling Higa, Nayir Ransome, Michael Wayne Turner III, Kiara Lanier, Danez Smith, Diego Mosquera, Ariel Johns, George Yamazawa, Fiona Chamness, Saju Ahmed, Remy Thomas, Rhiema Robinson, Erika Cespedes, Richard Love, Gabriel Cortez, Diana Loeb, Moira Pirsch, Jean Teodoro