Today I'm looking forward to sitting on a high level panel at the UN on the issue of youth and conflict. I was asked to participate in this because of a film and poetry initiative I did with UNFPA and the Women's Refugee Commission called Youth Zones (which you can view in English, French, Spanish or Arabic at www.YouthZones.org.)
With Youth Zones, I traveled with youth activist Chernor Bah from Sierra Leone and poetry mentor, Luke Nephew from the spoken word/creative writing non-profit I work with - Urban Word NYC - to Liberia, Colombia, Lebanon, Northern Uganda and New Orleans to document the struggles and resiliency of young people facing conflicts and natural disasters. My talk will focus specifically on the poetry workshops and how young people in emergencies can benefit and heal from such creative, safe spaces.
As part of my efforts to engage local artists in my film related outreach activities, I recruited Bajah from Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew to also sit on the panel to discuss his experiences as a youth growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone .Here is a really great 3-minute clip that touches on the experience of Bajah and his bandmates.
If you are attending the ECOSOC event at the UN or are interested in being a special guest, send an email to the RSVP listed on the invite above.