Youth poets take part in “Rethink Highschool” event at NC Stage, May 23

Final RethinkHighSchool Flier

Press release:

Young Poets Engage America to Rethink High School

HomeWord Youth Poetry, Youth Speaks, and XQ Institute Partner in National Town Halls with Spoken Word Poets

TOWN HALL: NORTH CAROLINA STAGE COMPANY MAY 23, 2017 at 7:00 P.M.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017​, ​HomeWord Youth Poetry​,an Asheville-based youth spoken word organization, will partner with the ​XQ​ ​I​n​s​t​i​t​u​t​e​, ​an organization dedicated to rethinking high school in America​, and ​Youth Speaks​, ​the convener of the Brave New Voices Network and the country’s leading spoken word and literary arts organization serving young people,​ to kick-off Brave New Voices #RethinkHighSchool2017​ in cities across the United States​. The tour will be a series of ​ spoken-word town-hall events featuring talented ​young poets sharing their art and sparking ​ a national conversation about new possibilities for the future of public high school.

This is a continuation of the 20-city tour that began in Washington, DC last September. The ​Asheville event will feature poetry performances from current and alumni poets from HomeWord beside, a panel discussion with current and former highs school students, and a ​town hall hosted by the young people of HomeWord​.​ The event, which is free and open to the public and press, will take place at ​North Carolina Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, Asheville, N.C, at 7:00 p.m. EST.

“It is important for youth to lead conversations about education because we are the future, the generations after depend on us for that,” said senior Devin Jones who will both perform and speak on the panel. Jones has been involved in planning for the event since December with responsibilities ranging from attending conference calls to running writing workshops at local schools.

A panel of seven current and former students will discuss their vision for education and share their own stories of struggles and successes. Among the panelists are students who can share personal experiences with issues including: homelessness, bullying, lack of minority enrollment in AP classes, transgender issues, the emotional strain of higher education expectations, and the need for more mental health support in schools. These students will be joined on the panel by representatives from Educators for Equity, OpenDoors of Asheville, and Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovenes.
Key visuals for cameras:

● Spoken Word Performances​: Youth poets from Youth Speaks’ Brave New Voices performing original spoken word pieces.

Additional events were held in ​the following cities and will continue through June. All are open to the public and press:

Saturday, March 25 – Norfolk, VA
Wed, April 5th, Baton Rouge, LA
Saturday, April 8 – St. Louis, MO
Sun, April 9 – Boston, MA
Thursday, April 13 – Flint, MI
Sat, April 15 – Tucson, AZ
Wed, April 19 – Des Moines, IA
Thurs, April 27 – Nashville, TN
Sat, May 13 – Houston, TX
Fri, May 19, Sacramento, CA
Tuesday, May 23 – Asheville, NC
Friday, June 2, Lancaster, PA
Sunday, June 4, Seattle, WA
Friday, June 23rd, Bay Area

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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