‘Cultural activist’ brings spoken word to Madison’s schools

“Ney organized spoken-word presentations at Madison high schools and saw the power of poetry to engage and connect with teens. “We had 2,200 kids in the gym at West High, all electrified and invigorated by poetry. It was all over for me then; it touched a nerve. In the times we live in we need hope, and here it was,” Ney says. “We put together a spoken-word showcase at East High and when it was over, the students spontaneously pulled out their journals and started sharing their work. It was a raw, brilliant, magical moment.
… A call then came from James Kass, a UW–Madison alumnus and founder of Youth Speaks, a San Francisco-based organization devoted to spoken-word performance, education and youth development programs. A partnership was forged with UW–Madison, Youth Speaks Wisconsin was born and ultimately found a home in the School of Education through the new Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives.” Full story here.

Robert Godfrey

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