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The DC Youth Poetry Slam Team

THE DC YOUTH SLAM TEAM uses poetry to teach and empower teens from the DC metropolitan area to speak up about issues of social justice. With annual travel to regional and national poetry slam festivals such as Brave New Voices, the team provides outstanding opportunities, training, and a platform for talented youth to develop their writing, performance, and public speaking skills with guidance from mentors and teaching artists.

The team is a year-long program for students in DC and the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia (affectionately called the DMV area). Students must currently be enrolled in middle or high school and live in the area to be eligible for the team.  Interested in joining the team? Review this form to learn how!  A version of the form in Word is available here. If you need more information, email

Hear from one of our students about the Brave New Voices experience

The team is the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Champions.  Read about their win here. Watch videos here.
In 2013 the team won 2nd place at BNV. In 2015 we were Semi-Finalists. In 2016 BNV comes to Washington, DC!

Our teen poets and adult teaching artists are available to perform, teach, facilitate workshops, and host events.

For booking inquiries: email Youth Programs Coordinator, Jonathan B. Tucker at or call 202.787.5279.

Follow the team on all social media @DCyouthSLAM

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Try outs for the 2016 team are from October - January.



The 2015 DC Youth Slam Team

2015 team photo in front of african art museum

From L to R: Quintin Paschall, Gaelyn Smith, Elexia Alleyne, Nesha Ruther, Henry Lozano, Milen Mehari, Kenya Newsome, Hannah Smallwood, Tajai Williams, Shayla Johnson, Cedric Harper, and Bobbi Johnson


The 2014 DC Youth Slam Team

2014 team at BNV champs

Alphabetical: Abbey Pechman, Ayinde Sekou, Amina Iro*, Chyna McCombs, CiCi Felton, Eric Powell, Jr.*, Hannah Halpern*, Kenny Hahn, Lauren May, Malachi Byrd, Mariam Coker*, Morgan Butler, Quintin Paschall, Rodney Johnson, Tajai Williams, Thomas Hill


The 2013 DC Youth Slam Team

team photo from 2013 BNV

From L to R: Ayinde Grimes, Lauren May, CiCi Felton, Kosi Dunn, Reina Privado, Eric Powell Jr, Hannah Halpern, Amina Iro, Thomas Hill, Asha Gardner, Malachi Byrd, and Jordana Rubenstein-Edberg (not pictured)


The 2012 DC Youth Slam Team

2012 team photo

From L to R: Asha Gardner, Alexis Franklin, Kayla McAfee, Tiana Minter-El, Mariam Coker, Lauryn Nesbitt, Eric Powell Jr, Kosi Dunn, Jesse Ferrell, Olivia Weltz, Scotty Williams


The 2011 DC Youth Slam Team

2011 team photo

From L to R: Lauryn Nesbitt, Alexis Franklin, Kayla McAfee, Kosi Dunn, and Selina Johnson

Coaches YaYa Bey and Safia Elhillo also in picture.


Video of the DC Youth Slam Team