Shades Of Meaning: The Story Of Word On The Street/La Voz De Los Jovenes
As a program of Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community (AWITSC), Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes centers the leadership and creativity of black and brown youth, age 13-19, in the production of a bilingual online arts, culture, and information magazine for youth, with mentorship and training provided by staff and community partners. Now in its third year, the program works to train and mentor youth of color to identify, produce, and publish stories from their communities, inspiring social change, racial equity, and language justice. Sekou Coleman, Facilitator of Collaboration and Innovation for AWITSC will discuss how Word On The Street/La Voz De Los Jovenes is shifting the paradigm for storytelling led by black and brown youth in North Carolina and why that matters in predominantly white Western North Carolina where communities of color experience inequity in resources and political power.
Sekou Coleman is an artist, cultural activist and youth advocate who was raised in a culture of community and service. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where he majored in Music, and worked afterwards as a community organizer fostering collaboration in and between the city’s most marginalized neighborhoods. His professional experience spans more than two decades and includes everything from songwriting and sound engineering to youth program development, website and interactive media creation, software training, film production, project management and more. Presently, in addition to being the producer for Beneath The Veneer, an independent documentary the dominant narrative of US culture and the lived experience of young black men, Sekou is the project manager for a collaborative community initiative to foster food security and cultural arts events in Asheville’s historic black Southside neighborhood. He is also the Facilitator of Collaboration and Innovation for Word On The Street/La Voz De Los Jovenes, a program of Asheville Writers In The Schools and Communities, which produces a bilingual youth magazine run by teens of color. Additionally, Sekou is a core member of CoThinkk, an innovative giving circle dedicated to supporting leaders and communities of color in Western North Carolina, as well as a board member for Journeymen (a community of men who mentor adolescent boys on their journey to becoming men of integrity) and Bountiful Cities (an organization dedicated to teaching sustainable agriculture skills in urban environments).
Part of the Around Here series from the Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies. Around Here talks are free of charge and all are welcome. Complimentary coffee and cookies will be provided. The event will be held in the Ramsey Center, which is located inside Renfro Library on the campus of Mars Hill University.