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UC Davis social justice group seeking Sacramento’s next youth poet laureate

Sacramento Area Youth Speaks presents poetic service announcements

The Black Child Legacy Campaign worked with Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to present 'poetic service announcements' about the challenges of growing up while black at the Crocker Art Museum Wednesday night, May 30, 2018.
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The Black Child Legacy Campaign worked with Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to present 'poetic service announcements' about the challenges of growing up while black at the Crocker Art Museum Wednesday night, May 30, 2018.

Words can inspire, advocate and empower. Teenage writers, poets or spoken word performers have an opportunity to reach the community in Sacramento and affect change in an even stronger way by entering a contest organized by Sacramento Area Youth Speaks, a UC Davis-based social justice group, for a chance to become the next Sacramento Youth Poet Laureate.

The group, known as SAYS, was founded in 2008 by Dr. Vajra Watson, the Director of Research and Policy for Equity at UC Davis, according to a description on the official SAYS website. The group says it “breaks the barriers of underachievement by elevating the voices of students as the authors of their own lives and agents of change.”

The contest deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sept. 23 and entrants must be from 14 to 19 years old, should be writers and leaders and be “committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity and education across Sacramento,” according to the application.

The application asks whether applicants are poets, rappers, spoken word artists, performance poets, youth leaders or a combination of all of those. In addition, five writing samples, a video sample of a reading and information on why the applicant wants to be poet laureate, past experiences in leadership, and skills and accomplishments are required.

In May, the Black Child Legacy Campaign worked with Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to present ‘poetic service announcements’ at the Crocker Art Museum about the challenges of growing up while black.

To apply, fill out the application located here.

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