Civil Spoken Words
3:40-4:45pm, 2nd floor
Poetry is one of the most powerful ways to relay a message, and when spoken can dramatically amplify it.
In this demonstration on civil inequity we will hear the words and see the images of Denver's most prolific spoken word artists.
Amal Kassir is a 21 year-old Muslim, Syrian-American international spoken word poet. Based in Denver, CO, she attends university full-time & teaches workshops to communities across Denver, performing nationally & internationally throughout the semester while picking up a shift or two from her family's Damascus Restaurant. She has performed in 8 countries, over 25 cities, from youth prisons to orphanages to refugee camps. Her work in the community involves humanitarian initiatives for Syria, speaking out and organizing against Islamaphobia, and empowering marginalized voices through writing & speaking. She is a 2012 Brave New Voices International Slam Champion with Denver's Minor Disturbance & has been featured in LA Times, PBS Newshour, Colorado Public Radio, Westword Magazine and the Denver Post.
Alex Landau is a father, a community member, and a human rights advocate. He was adopted in infancy by a white family, raised in primarily white communities, and educated in white schools. In 2009 Alex survived an extreme case of brutality at the hands of Denver police officers. This became the catalyst for the movement he is now engaged in where he works as a Community Organizer with the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and is co-founder of the Denver Justice Project. Alex is pursuing racial justice, the transformation of law enforcement and working to end mass-incarceration through a lens of passion and intersectionality. Alex believes that acknowledging the impact of intersectional oppression's (race, gender, age etc.) is critical to understanding how others different from ourselves experience injustice.
Toluwanimi Oluwafunmilayo Obiwole is a Nigerian-born, Colorado-raised poet. She is currently an undergrad studying Ethnic Studies at CU Boulder. She was a member of the 2013-2014 Minor Disturbance youth poetry team as well as a Brave New Voices international poetry festival champion and finalist. In 2015 she was announced Denver’s inaugural Youth Poet Laureate. For the 2015 and 2016 slam season she was a member of SLAM NUBA, and has recently acquired the position of Slam Master for the venue. She was a TEDx Mile High speaker and is the author of the chapbook: OMI EBI MI (pronounced oh-mee ay-bee mee). Currently, she is working with Penmanship Books for the upcoming release of her second book.
Panama Soweto is a performance writer, recording artist and educator. He is currently the Job Developer for the Denver Housing Authority’s Youth Employment Academy. His dedication to assisting youth in Denver as a mentor and educator has been demonstrated through his work over the course of the last 20 years. He is a National Poetry Slam Champion. He is also the co-founder of Slam Nuba, a Denver based competitive slam team. He tours as one of the county’s top spoken word acts at colleges and universities, and in 2015 was awarded Diversity Artist of the Year from The National Association of Campus Activities. Channeling his roller coaster performances as a spoken word artist, his lecture is a hybrid of storytelling and mentoring. Panama challenges ideas about bullying, single-parenthood, sexual abuse, self-advocacy, and discrimination through his mastery of spoken word.