Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thrilled to Be in Syracuse For the Writing Our Lives - Syracuse, #TellYourTruth, Conference with Friends from CT

Seven years ago, Dr. Marcelle Haddix and I received a few small grants to launch the first ever Writing Our Lives  conference in Syracuse, New York - a Saturday workshop for middle and high school youth that brings writers, performers, and activists together to encourage young people to write their lives in a wide variety of genres. We expected 50 or so young people that first Saturday in 2009, but over 100 showed up. This trend has not only occurred in Syracuse but has transitioned, too, to Writing Our Lives events in southern Connecticut.

We haven't tallied the numbers of young people these writing conferences have reached, but we have the data collected. It simply is a gathering of individuals who write and create in their professions, coming forward to share their professional knowledge in workshop settings.

This is the first time I've brought part of my Connecticut team with me, and I'm proud to have Alisha Smith and Attallah Sheppard at my side to experience the Syracuse phenomenon and to share their worlds with the young people of Central New York. I'm also thrilled to know that my nephew, Dylan - who has ventured into his own world of online writing - will be joining us for the day.

Our session will go forth twice: Unarmed Truths and Unconditional Love: Scripted and Composed in a World of Words. We will fuse spoken word with script-writing, and prompt the young writers to draw from the language they know to communicate a part of their history and truth. Variations of this work have occurred in Alabaman, Louisiana, Chicago, New York City, Kentucky, Bridgeport and Syracuse!

It is a thrill and honor to return once again to the cold winds and fall beauty of Syracuse. Looking forward to a great day!

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