Slam Poetry Project
In Summer 2020, George Floyd’s killing led to months of interracial protest marches in BC, Canada, and globally, and as a result, the #BlackLivesMatter movement emerged. The youth community was united through the common goal of increasing awareness of the discrimination faced by the Black community in Canada, and youth became active and vocal advocates. However, after a few months, dialogue about racial justice and equity quieted in the youth community. Why? Primarily because tangible change felt unachievable and stagnant — limited to connecting with the same social circle on social media. In talking to teens in Vancouver, B.C., and across the country, a common theme emerged: youth wanted to be involved in anti-racism efforts, but they didn’t know how to help or if they had the power to create momentous change.
What Is It About? What Will It Do?
The slam poem video project will highlight the notable impact that seemingly, small actions of anti-racism have upon society. It will ask societal members to destigmatize conversations about race and actively challenge prejudices, oppression, and racism. The project will also communicate the necessity of sustaining the racial justice movement even after it has ceased being a trending hashtag. It’ll connect four major "communities" of the anti-racism movement: adolescents, politicians, cultural groups, and the general public; therefore including the catalysts of the global reform movement, leaders and changemakers, educators of Canada’s multiculturalism, and the greater community respectively.
Understanding that anti-racism is the conscious effort to acknowledge, act, and work against racial injustices, prejudices, and oppression by acknowledging and acting against structures that perpetuate inequality, being anti-racist means understanding why things are the way they are now, and then actively working to dismantle and rebuild structures in a more equitable way. The slam poem video project will use the engaging and unique format of a slam poem video to highlight strength in collaboration, unity, and continued advocacy, and allow youth and citizens across Canada to recognize their ability in creating tangible change with every decision that they make.
Politicians, youth, and cultural group representatives will hold up a piece of paper written:
“I will___(insert action they will do to continue the anti-racism movement)___”. This is to convey the slam poem’s theme of “I will…”
“The question isn’t what can I do, it is what will I do right now, in a month, year, and in 10 years, to make a commitment to work towards equality for all races?” (paragraph 12)
“what will you do to work towards an anti-racism society?” (paragraph 13)
The participant will read the sign (sound) and then hold the sign for an additional 15-20 seconds (no voice/sound). Please ensure that there the background is blank, the video is filmed horizontally and that there is good lighting (not overexposed, too dim, etc…).