In 2011, OutWords began as an after-school program designed to teach students the art of performance poetry. We operated in high schools in the Fresno Unified School District. Currently, we provide on-site in-class workshops for high schools and organizations.
OutWords works with students through discussions on poetry writing and the intricacies of performance. Through activities, workshops, and group discussions OutWords reaches out to connect with and inspire the youth.
Through the use of performance poetry, OutWords encourages youth to write their stories and their truths. OutWords challenges youth to critically think about the cultural and societal context in which they live and encourages open conversation.
Every young person matters and deserves to know their voices will be heard. By evoking youth from silence to creating dialogue, OutWords can liberate and promote youth development. We firmly believe that the knowledge, practice, and confidence in the written and spoken language is key to this self-empowerment. The youth’s voices matter, what they have to say holds weight, and they can positively impact the communities around them.
OutWords approaches and creatively fills a need for literary arts education and literacy development. By having the lives of the students serve as the primary text for writing, OutWords creates a passion for literacy development both in and outside the class.