Off/Page Project Calls For Youth Poets To Write On Ferguson

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The significance of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by law enforcement in Ferguson, Missouri is rippling through communities around the country. One project aims to shine a light on young people’s responses to Brown’s shooting and its aftermath, and they’re inviting you to join the conversation.

Our friends at Youth Speaks launched the Off/Page Project to combine original storytelling and arts with investigative data.

The project is soliciting poetry from young people that explains and expresses how Brown’s death and the nationwide response have affected their lives. Youth Speaks is inviting poetry about racism, poverty, youth-police relations, what it means to feel safe, and everything in between. They encourage poets to incorporate and cite statistics on community violence or the militarization of the police.

Here are the instructions from their website:

  1. Write an original poem inspired by the following prompts: How do the events in Ferguson, Missouri, compare to what you experience in your own community? What does it mean to feel safe in your community?
  2. Upload either the text of your poem or a YouTube video link of your performance your poem through the form below.
  3. Encourage friends to do the same through social media. Be sure to tag us:@OffPageProject.

Unique Hughley, 18, submitted one of the catalyst poems for this project after attending a protest in Ferguson on August 16. She writes, “They censor our peace, / put sensors by our feet / they prepare for war, / they wanna rip us apart / take part in our destruction / spilled blood becomes an art…”

To read the whole poem, check out the project’s website.


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