Youth & Family

Youth Activism as Poetic Voice

By January 26, 2021 No Comments

Let’s start with an invitation, then move toward inspiration:

Come, make a two minute speech BEING THE VOICE of a Black contributor, creator or inventor. Take the opportunity to learn about someone you have never known about before. Research them so you can represent them accurately and honorably — then lend your own voice to that person, speaking loud and proud in the “I” voice. We’re creating the THE BIAS ADJUSTMENT TEAM, with the leadership of THE BIAS ADJUSTER Dr. Bentley Gibson.  To become bias adjusters, we’ll shine our light on Black contributors, to COUNTERACT stereotypes that, through racism, have hurt American culture so deeply.  We’ll engage in a learning game called “BEING THEM,”  — a psychology-teaching construct developed by Dr. Jessica Kindred to personalize, instead of otherize, content.  You may come to represent — and of course you may come to learn.

Adults, families, and children, Please RSVP at, and share whom you will represent for February’s FIRST SUNDAYS ZOOM EVENT:  Sunday, February 7th at 1:30pm. The Zoom-Room code will be sent to you the night before the event, with a reminder.

Now, inspiration!  VOICES OF YOUTH are emerging to bring poetic depth and beauty to the deepest divides of our times — from racial healing to climate justice. Many Americans were introduced to youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman at the presidential inauguration of Biden/Harris.   As it turns out, Ms. Gorman, a self-identified activist, has created tons of ethically compelling work, through her poetry, her leadership voice, and her collaborations. She has used poetry to transcend her own limitations, as well as to respond to many worldly events and to illuminate many current crises. She’s collaborated with very own her twin sister Gabrielle Gorman, a film maker,  to visually amplify her readings.  She’s collaborated with songsters, and illustrators.
She’s created a virtual ethical treasure chest! Let’s take the opportunity to dive deeper into her compelling voice! She has brought poetic beauty, word-play and deep thought to the hardest topics.  You are welcome to follow the journey offered here, to get you started…

We may augment our own focus on racial healing with some resources she has helped create. Below link to listen to Amanda Gorman COUNTERACTING the harms of bias in our world with poetic tongue.  Then, zoom out to a global perspective and listen to Ms. Gorman’s Climate Justice poem…. And finally, for an extra special treat, let’s celebrate how the poetic voices of our youth rise up for justice, RIGHT HERE at Ethical NYC, through the Young Ethical Explorers program… by revisiting, (from October’s OUTLOOK) the deep writing of our very own Ethical NYC youth writer, Maria Fernanda (Marifer) Torres Sandoval (scroll down).

1.  Racial Healing:  For our young ones:  Amanda Gorman collaborated with PBS Kids to talk about Race and Racism.  Give it a watch!  (and parents, if you want to access the whole PBS show, it is in line with the “let’s talk about it!” agenda, of racial healing.  And here Amanda Gorman is healing racism in a collaboration with musician MILCK on a DAY OF RACIAL HEALING.

2. Climate Justice: Now, Link here to hear Amanda Gorman’s address climate justice: EARTHRISE

3.  The grand finale of this blog post is by ETHICAL NYC’s youth writer from Young Ethical Explorers YEE), 11 year old  (almost!) Maria Fernanda Torres Sandoval. Read her piece out loud,  to hear the poetic words flow, from our YEE fall event called Being Earth:

Marifer’s “Earth Voice”

I, the water, once clear and pristine, demand justice done to my lakes, ponds, and seven seas. Foolish humans don’t you see what you do to you when you hurt me?

I, the Earth, shall crack open and all shall shake for you humans are careless creatures! You chop down trees and build fancy, useless buildings over me. My burrowing, tunneling friends, what will become of them? Those wonderful beings that live in me…If only you’d open your eyes and see the pain that you are causing me!

I am the air, once clean and bright, you need me to live, yet you ignore my plight? Your factories and your sprays are causing me to turn old and gray. One day this place will be unlivable if you continue.

I, Mother Nature, struggle to calm my infuriated daughters, the Earth, Air and Water. All once calm and clear! But if you don’t stop with your destruction, pollution, and careless construction, earthquakes, storms and tsunamis you shall see, and with no mercy shall we act, until you do what we plea. What we have been asking for, centuries! If you continue there will be no human race, not a trace of that arrogant Homo Sapiens face. This is your warning. All we ask for is for you to care, to love, and that animals you do not snare. That you do not make trophies of their skin and hair, and do not hunt as a sport, but of pure necessity. That you try to stop wars with all their bombing and noxious fumes. That you pick up plastic, and buy what will be used, that you will use what has been thrown. It is a simple act, worth a thousand more, but we need more than a thousand deeds, we need to clean the air and the shores, and clear the seas. But most importantly of all, you people must pause your materialistic greed.

Nature weavings from our NYSEC Stoney Point retreat, fall 2020.

Once again, don’t forget to RSVP for February 7 at 1:20 to join the BIAS ADJUSTER team!  And when you choose whom you will represent, REACH!  Introduce us to someone you think we might not yet know. In fact, teach yourself about someone you haven’t yet heard of by browsing through the links below… for “BEING THEM.” See you there!

To get you started on preparing to participate on February 7th, Dr. Bentley Gibson has offered some resources to instigate our research and you may dig for your own as well.  Here’s a video, an ABC’s of inventors.  Here’s a List of Black Inventors.  And more here! And finally an article about oft-overlooked figures in black excellence.

In honor,
Audrey Kindred, Leader of Young Ethical Explorers, Ethical NYC
Audrey Kindred

Audrey Kindred

Audrey Kindred leads programming for youth and families at Ethical NYC

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