Alliance) held its first ever Poetry Slam, encouraging participants to “Embrace their Voices” against Sexual Assault, in partnership with Brown Girl Woke founder, Maluseu Doris Tulifau. The Alliance is committed to providing youth a platform to heal, and reflect on issues of violence. On November 14, we held our fourth poetry slam at the American Samoa Community College Multi-Purpose Center. November’s theme was to encourage participants to BE BOLD BE HEARD allowing participants to take a stand, and let their voices be heard.
“The best part of working with the youth is that they are a marginalized group,” stated Maluseu, “because of culture and transitions the youth never get to speak or feel that their voice matters.” The Alliance supports the poetry slam because it offers a safe place for our community, especially our young people to speak their truth on conflicts they witness or experience.
More than a dozen voices provided their stories, including two of the judges who were so moved by all the pieces. The narratives were about politics, depression, nature, science, domestic and sexual violence, etc. This recent poetry slam definitely ended with a SLAM!
Alliance Executive Director, Jennifer Tofaeono commented, “We are grateful for the yearly success of Poetry Slam. The Alliance is committed to increasing awareness in our community about topics that make our youth feel unsafe. The partnerships with ASCC, the local Department of Education, and Brown Girl Woke, and many more has really helped to create safe spaces. We are extremely proud of our collaborative efforts.”
The Alliance thanks our local Judges, Local Representative Sam Meleisea, Empowering Pacific Island Communities (EPIC) staff, Ms.Saipan Cassens, Executive Director Nancy Tagaloa of Catholic Social Services, Robert Toelupe of Department of Veterans Affairs and American Samoa Community College Instructor Derek Helsham.
All participants were given a prize for their participation and four of those participants were given prizes for placing top four. Special appreciation, and tremendous gratitude to our local businesses for our prizes Tanoa, Lijah’s Gift Shop, Bluesky, Forsgren’s Koko Samoa Bliss Cheat Day ACE Hardware All Stars and ASCC Staff Derek Helsham & Kayla Sauafea. Your contributions continue to help make our Poetry Slam’s a success.
If you would like more information on our next Poetry Slam, please contact Alliance Program Specialist, Judy Matautia at 699-0272, visit our Facebook, and Webpage, or email: email@example.com