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When the Typhoon left the East side of my country with nothing, I was in a conference of Filipino Americans in the middle of Illinois. In the Midwest, a lot of Fil-Am or Asian American folks in general, build Asian American student organizations in college, in order to see faces that look…

It is, alas, the truth that to be an American writer today means mounting an unending attack on all that Americans believe themselves to hold sacred. It means fighting an astute and agile guerrilla warfare with that American complacency which so inadequately masks the American panic.

In this remarkable episode of American Masters, we take a deep look into the life and work of James Baldwin. Let this serve as a powerful reminder of the responsibility that rests upon us as poets and writers. It is indeed our task to tell the truth when no one else is — to blast our light through the unending darkness. We have witnessed our art and resistance be co-opted and commodified. We must fight the temptation to turn our poetry into mere entertainment. We must remember the tradition from which our work emerges. Let us learn from our dear friend, James Baldwin, about how to shake up the world with our voice. There is work to be done and poems to be left in the wreckage for the next generation of lonely artists searching for a sign amidst the ash. 

"Creative storytelling - whether it’s spoken word, music, or even your crazy little blog - is so powerful because it flips that paradigm. By telling your own personal truth, you’re able to to break out of the boxes and stereotypes and show us, ‘Hey, this is who I really am. Take a good, hard look.’”

The Off/Page Project has a great interview with the one and only Josh Healey. Addressing everything from storytelling, comedy, and activism to censorship and jump shot skills, read the full interview on the Off/Page blog here

centerforinvestigativereporting:

What’s it like being a young person living in one of the largest American cities to declare bankruptcy? Watch the new trailer from our upcoming documentary from the Off/Page  Project, our new collaboration with Youth Speaks, to discover what happens when teens from Stockton, California, examine their lives through an artistic and journalistic lens for the first time.

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The Off/Page Project - our new collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting - has a short documentary coming out: “Good Kid, Broken City.” Check out the trailer above and make sure to follow their Tumblr too! 

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Young poets at Brave New Voices give real talk on economic inequalities of gentrification and education in their communities: 

"So basically they’re saying, alright, so you got to go to school, right? You got to make money somehow. And the only way to make money in this economy is to get a college degree, right, ‘cause that’s what we’re taught. So we’re raised up until senior year…and we realize that yo, you’re going to be more in debt from your college loans than from house loans and credit card loans combined…for the rest of your career, basically. 
So then they say, alright, alright, you got that. So here are your two options: You can go to college, be in debt. Or, you might as well go to the military. You’re already in the streets. You’re already fighting. You’re already playing Call of Duty. This is your option, right here. 
So that’s what I think the violence stems from: that the only way to live is to be violent. The only way to survive in this economy for poor folk is to be gritty…to be dirty to steal whatever you need to steal. And that’s the problem.” 
Follow them on Tumblr: Off/Page Project 

centerforinvestigativereporting:

If America’s fields could speak, what stories would they tell about sexual abuse migrant women face?

That’s the question that poet Monica Mendoza asks in the Off/Page Project’s inaugural video, “Whispers from the Field.”

Speaking from the perspective of the field, Mendoza talks about the high price migrant women pay to put food on their families’ tables. The poem was inspired by the Rape in the Fields investigation — by CIR, the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, FRONTLINE and Univision — that found that hundreds of female agricultural workers have complained to the federal government about being raped, assaulted and harassed on the job, while law enforcement has done almost nothing to prosecute potential crimes. Learn more about the investigation on our website.

The Off/Page Project is a collaboration between Youth Speaks and The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Amazing work from Monica Mendoza and Jamie DeWolf for the Off/Page Project. Follow our new collaboration’s blog here.

The Off/Page Project's blog has a great interview with Brave New Voices alumni and former Youth Speaks staff member, Kirya Traber. Find out what Kirya’s been up to in New York City working for the Human Right Commission and doing a BUNCH of theater productions all across the city. Big up to Gretchen Carvajal for her awesome layout!

What happens when journalists and poets work with each other to address the issues critical to today’s youth? That’s what the Off/Page Project, our new collaboration with The Center for Investigative Reporting, aims to discover. 

Lead by Youth Speaks alumni José Vadi, the Off/Page combines the analytical lens of CIR with the groundbreaking storytelling of Youth Speaks, the Off/Page Project lives at the intersection of youth voice and civic engagement and provides a multimedia platform for young people with the Brave New Voices network to investigate the issues & stories that would otherwise be silenced.

The Off/Page Project launches this August at BNV in Chicago. Keep updated on the project’s launch by following the Off/Page on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, check out the Off/Page’s feature article in Poynter here