STREET POETS Inc. is a non-profit poetry-based peace-making organization dedicated to the creative process as a force for individual and community transformation.
Street Poets' violence prevention-themed poetry performance group, composed of our formerly incarcerated workshop alumni and staff, performs at schools, youth justice & peace conferences and juvenile detention facilities throughout Los Angeles County and beyond. The group's original performance is a riveting celebration of the transformational power of the written word. Since their first show at the Los Angeles Theater Center in 1998, Street Poets United has performed over one hundred times for thousands of at-risk youth and young adults from downtown Los Angeles all the way to Europe (Germany, Hungary).
Street Poets creates circles. Poetry circles. Drum circles. Multi-cultural multi-generational circles. Creative healing circles within which at-risk youth and young adults can breathe, write, laugh, cry and rediscover their authentic voices in the midst of a world increasingly ruled by fear and permeated by violence. We do what we do with the larger goal of transforming our society into one that champions the creative process, multicultural community, peace-making, healing and personal growth.
The Street Poets, Inc. mission is:
1. TO INSPIRE at-risk youth in the juvenile detention facilities, schools and streets of Los Angeles County to discover and develop their voices as writers, artists and human beings.
2. TO EMPOWER these young people to use the skills and increased self-awareness engendered through the arts to transcend self-destructive lifestyles.
3. TO CREATE a healing community that unites different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic segments of our city around the transformational power of the creative process.
Summer 2007 Street Poets began construction on an in-house recording studio, which was completed in September. Not long after, we began to record the spoken word and Hip Hop selections shared with you on the first Street Poets Inc. album entitled Witness, a raw inspiring collaboration that digs deep and illuminates the streets.
released June 1, 2008
Chenjerai Kumanyika & Chris Henrikson