Say Word believes in the importance of young people speaking for themselves. Its mission includes 2 distinct goals that embody this belief:
1. Nurture free expression by empowering young people with the essential tools of self-expression so they are better equipped to tell their own stories, present their own lives, and share their opinions with a purpose; and
2. Provide safe spaces which encourage young writers to grow into future leaders with the ability to use their voice for self-improvement and social change.
Say Word’s organizational values reflect what we wish to create through our programs, leadership and presence in the community. These include the following:
Say Word values the art and practice of free expression and the use of voice, through writing and performance, to translate the thoughts, hopes and experiences of youth to their communities and the world.
Say Word believes that empowering youth through the art of spoken word can have a multiplier effect on the rest of their lives, inspiring them to positive action.
Through our spoken word programs, Say Word develops leadership qualities in youth, teaching them to think critically, take initiative, be brave and bold, and serve as examples to their peers.
Say Word values differences of opinion, perspective, and ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic and educational background. We believe in honoring that diversity and representing it through performance and leadership development.
Say Word teaches the value of giving back to one’s community. Say Word youth poets learn to see themselves as part of their broader communities and, as a result, better understand how their actions affect others.