Conscious Party: Fighting hunger with words

Photo by Rebekkah LaBlue

WHAT: 2nd Annual Food For Thought: The Slam Against Hunger

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Rainbow Community Auditorium, 60 State St., Asheville

WHY: Inspired by the participation in and support for Food For Thought: The Slam Against Hunger benefit they produced for MANNA FoodBank last year, SOULSPEAK Asheville decided to make the event an annual affair. Students from local area middle and high schools have been working on this event for weeks, volunteering and touring MANNA to better understand the organization’s operations.

“It is though provoking to see young people give a voice to the concerns in our community; it’s inspiring to see their commitment to making a difference,” says SOULSPEAK executive director Mel Kelley. “It was also important for students to learn that some people they know, people they go to school with, are suffering too. Themed poetry slams are the perfect conduit for our mission of helping students develop critical thinking skills, creative writing abilities and public speaking confidence,” which will develop them into more engaged community members.

During the event, poets ages 11-21 will speak about hunger in our community by sharing their original poetry. Any student willing to read a poem may do so, but those interested in participating in the slam competition should plan to bring three poems to read — one for each round of competition.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite and at the door for $15 per adult and $10 for students and teachers. Proceeds from the event will benefit MANNA FoodBank’s operations. High-protein food donations — such as beans, canned tuna and peanut butter — are also welcome. For more information, contact Mel Kelley at soulspeakavl@gmail.com. — Michael McDonald

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