As January comes to a close, our partners and friends over at the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) based in Kennesaw, GA, have picked up and posted a wonderful piece from the talented Mathew Edwards, who for the last couple years has been a wonderful contributor in The Beat Within writing workshops inside San Quentin State Prison. We must say, Mathew consistently writes stellar pieces about his journey and hunger for another date with freedom.
Recently we asked our writers in our weekly juvenile hall writing
workshops to reflect on the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. We were quite surprised how many different opinions were shared. Some responded with angry commentaries, poetry and rap. Another pleaded for Americans to “give him a chance,” pointing out that as “wards of the state, if no one gives us a chance to change, how can we?”
Well, right before the holidays, we sent numerous “Trump” reaction
pieces to The Crime Report, based in New York City, to consider, and
yesterday we were informed that they picked up and posted an abridged and slightly edited selection. Their selection is different that what was featured by our friends at the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange).
Wow, like our friends over at the Juvenile Justice Information
Exchange, The Crime Report, based in New York City, picked up and is
featuring on their site their favorite “Dear President Obama” pieces
from The Beat Within and are featuring these standout pieces today. We
must say, they did an outstanding job with the spread on their site.
A couple months ago one of our writing prompts in our weekly writings
workshops inside juvenile hall, county jail and state prison was a
“Letter to President Obama.” We were overwhelmed by the response from
our many writers, and are so humbled that our friends at not only the
JJIE but The Crime Report picked up and is sharing these words with
their community of readers and followers.
Our prompt was written as… Letter to President Obama – This January
2017, President Barrack Obama, our first African American president,
will be leaving office. We want you to take a moment to share your
thoughts with the President. Introduce yourself and explain why you
are writing. Let him know your concerns. Offer your thoughts on a
current issue, and express your support or constructive
criticism. Share your truths about the last 8 years he has been our
commander and chief. Come from your heart and thank him for his
amazing service, or let him know your disappointment. Dear President
Like all milestones that inspire genuine pride, our self-satisfaction is accompanied by a big dose of humility, as we reflect on all the incredible writers and workshop facilitators who have poured their energy, talent, compassion, and love into this program. The Beat simply would have long since ceased to be without the courage of our participants and the dedication of scores of workshop facilitators, typists and editors who gave so much and asked for so little in return.
Now we humbly ask you to reaffirm your belief in the power of the written word to enlighten minds, elevate spirits, and liberate our most disenfranchised and ostracized citizens—incarcerated youth—from the shame and stigma of incarceration.
Fostering a culture of compassion, camaraderie, and creativity can make all the difference to children who find themselves entangled in a punitive institution that degrades and dehumanizes.
One of the most anticipated literary nights of the year, San Francisco’s world-famous Lit Crawl attracts close to 10,000 people, and features over 400 authors in just three hours. Lit Crawl brings literature to the streets, featuring smart and silly, worldly and wacky events in venues usual (bars, cafes, galleries, and bookstores) and unusual (police stations, tattoo parlors, barbershops, and erotica boutiques).
For 20 years, the Beat Within has been publishing the soul-stirring poetry and essays of kids locked in juvenile hall in and outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Come learn about this extraordinary program, get inspired, and learn how you can help!
Please join us to celebrate 20 years of Giving Voice to the Voiceless!
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Lit Crawl Location, Scholar Match at 849 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA
This past weekend, The Crime Report, based in New York City, picked up, posted and featured our dear friend and colleague, Michael Webb’s piece, “The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream.” A wonderful piece of writing from a determined individual whose goal is to help others see a better way. This piece is also featured in this week’s issue of The Beat Within, 21.35/36.
Michael Webb is a juvenile lifer, who co-facilitates and participates
in The Beat Within’s monthly writing workshop inside San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, CA.
We cannot wait to share this news with Michael.
We are truly grateful for the partnership we have with The Crime
Report. If you personally have visited this site more than a few
times, there is a chance you may now have lost your access and are
requested to pay to view. If that is the case, we have posted the
piece, “The Little Boy Who Lost His Dream,” below.
Today, The Crime Report, based in New York City, picked up, posted and is featuring the thoughtful commentary from workshop participant, Daniel. It is a pleasure to see Daniel’s hard-work featured today on The Crime Report website. We have been working closely with him this summer in creating this amazing piece, Incarcerated Youth “Must Accept Our Mistakes.’ Daniel participates in The Beat Within from the Solano County Juvenile Hall in Fairfield, CA.
We hope most of you had an enjoyable Mother’s Day weekend!? Happy Monday to all. The Beat Within is gearing up for our big trip this week to New Orleans to bring our workshops and publication to the New Orleans Parish Juvenile Hall! An exciting time.
We are thrilled to see that our dear colleagues and friends over at
the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) based in Georgia,
picked up and posted the well written and thoughtful piece of writing from Mistah G today, a former participant in our weekly writing workshops inside the San Francisco Juvenile Justice Center. Today Mistah G is a youth advocate and community activist doing great work in the city that he loves. We are thrilled to have teamed up with Mistah G, who penned his latest piece, From Heartbroken, Scared to Giving Back, for The Beat Within.