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The DC Youth Poetry Slam Team

SPLIT THIS ROCK'S 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 International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, 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.

For more information, email SLAM@splitthisrock.org

The DC Youth Slam Team at Brave New Voices

The DC Youth Slam Team has a notable history at Brave New Voices. In 2013, the team placed 2nd and one of its poems has now been viewed close to 2 million times on Youtube. The team took 1st place at the 2014 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. Read about their win on our News From Split This Rock page. Watch videos of the team (select videos marked "Washington, DC") at finals that year on Youth Speaks Youtube channel. The 2015 and 2016 teams advanced to Semi-Finals. The festival is about more than just the competition though. As the slam mantra coined by Allan Wolf goes: “The points are not the point; the point is poetry.”

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

Follow the team on all social media @DCyouthSLAM

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SQUADS 

The 2016 DC Youth Slam Team

Top left to right, then bottom left to right: Zahra Wardrick, Gaeyln Smith, Eliamani Ismail, and Bobbi Johnson. Additionally, Cedric Harper was selected for the team but did not compete at Brave New Voices that year.

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