Teaching Artists & Slam Team Coaches
Brandon is a poet, emcee, and actor born and raised in Washington, DC. He was on the DC Youth Slam Team in 2009 and has been volunteering with the team ever since. A member of the production team multiple years with City at Peace DC, a youth group using theatre arts to teach nonviolent conflict resolution and cross cultural dialogue, Brandon is well versed in issues of oppression, inequality, theatre, and workshop facilitation. He has worked as a Peer Educator with Metro Teen AIDS and is a graduate of the Public Allies program. He serves the DC Youth Slam Team as a mentor and Teaching Artist, working with students in after school programs such as Higher Achievement. Brandon regularly hosts poetry slams and appreciates eccentric people.
As a performance artist, Drew Law has opened up for artists ranging from Slick Rick and Biz Markie to Sunni Patterson and Andrea Gibson, and he has performed at different national venues including “Green Mill” in Chicago, IL. When he is not performing, he hosts the prestigious Busboys and Poets Open Mic and BBE’s ground breaking Graffiti DC slam series.
Jamila Reddy is a director, poet, and teaching artist from Charlotte, NC currently living in Washington, D.C. She is interested in creating interactive, multimedia storytelling experiences for diverse audiences. She is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA: Dramatic Art, Sociology) and has been writing and performing poetry since 2007.
Elizabeth Acevedo is the daughter of Dominican immigrants, proudly born and raised in the heart of New York City. Through poetry that is infused with hip-hop and bolero, she uses her words as a way to translate the world. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University (2010) and is currently in the MFA at The University of Maryland. She has been a featured poet at The Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, The Kodak Theatre, Madison Square Garden and has performed live on BET, Mun2, and Current’s, Lyric Café. Elizabeth has been published in Off the Subject: The Words of Lyrical Circle, and The Acentos Review. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a coach of the DC Youth Slam Team.
Pages is a poet/emcee originally from Cameroon, Africa. His features have included The Kennedy Center; colleges and universities such as Columbia University; & BETJ Lyric Café. He has touched stages with the likes of Ainsley Burrows, Oveous Maximus, opened for Raheem DeVaughn, Afrika Bambaata, and many others. In addition to winning multiple local slams, he is also the 2010 & 2012 DC Grand Slam Champion, a host at Busboys and Poets, and a coach of the DC Youth Slam Team.
JONATHAN B. TUCKER
Jonathan B. Tucker is a poet, teacher, DJ, and activist. Coach of the DC Youth Slam Team and Youth Programs Coordinator for the nonprofit Split This Rock, he uses performance poetry to raise issues of social justice and inspire dialogue and action. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Crofton, MD, Jonathan has twice represented DC at the National Poetry Slam and has traveled across the world performing and teaching poetry in schools, universities and community organizations, most recently visiting London, Stockholm, Malmo, Pretoria, and Johannesburg. His book, I Got the Matches, and other poems are available at jonathanbtucker.com.
GEORGE “G” YAMAZAWA, JR.
G is a Japanese-American poet/emcee born and raised in Durham, NC, living in DC. After experiencing the Brave New Voices Poetry Festival in 2008, he made the transition from a rapper to a poet and realized the importance of his words. Quickly moving into the adult slam scene, G started competing at the National Poetry Slam in 2009. In 2010 his team won Southern Fried and placed 3rd in the nation. He ranked 5th in the world at the Individual World Poetry Slam 2010 in Charlotte, NC and is widely considered one of the top spoken word artists in the country.
A recent transplant to the DMV, Brandi Hargette moved from Philadelphia, PA where she received her B.A. in Journalism at Temple University. Brandi was a finalist for representing DC’s Beltway Team at the National Poetry Slam in 2013. With about five years experience coaching/mentoring youth poets, she spends a great portion of her time facilitating workshops and coaching. If asked, she’d tell you she’s a perfect blend of her grandmother’s nurturing nature and father’s sarcasm – a Southern girl with an attitude most associated with city slickers. Brandi is also a connoisseur of quotes with a keen preference for all things fried. Feel free to blame her North Carolinian roots.
Clint Smith is originally from New Orleans, LA and teaches English at Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County, MD. In 2013, Mr. Smith was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He is profiled in the book, “American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom” (Welcome Books, 2013) as one of the top 50 educators in the nation. In addition to teaching, Mr. Smith is an Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and is a two-time member of the Beltway Poetry Slam team.