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Job Description: We are seeking a mission-driven professional to manage our fundraising activities with foundations, government agencies and other philanthropic institutions. The Grants Manager plays an essential role in the organization to generate general operating and program/project-based support, to monitor and satisfy existing grant requirements, and to serve as a positive ambassador with funders and other community partners.
Job Responsibilities include: Grant Writing & Management
Benefits: This is a part-time position with a benefits package that includes health and dental benefits and vacation/holiday/sick pay.
EEO/AA: Youth Speaks is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
To Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later June 30, 2013. In subject line, please write: Grants Manager. No calls please!]]>
– Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka
I had a homeboy back in Chicago, Scott Bradley, who used to jump in the air manically, repeatedly, in solidarity with mid-ollie skaters the world over.
“Scott…why you jumping, joe?” (We called each other joe back then.)
Scott rested, hands on knees, and asked, “If you add up every second I’m in the air, for my whole life, do you think it’ll make a whole day?” I don’t know where Scott is now, but I hope he still wars against gravity’s pull. I think if he hasn’t quit, he’ll have enough seconds with his feet off the ground to add up to a day in the air. Isn’t that what we all want—a day in the air? To flirt with flight.
The journey towards self-realization always begins in nonsense. It begins, in the often-tragic conditions in which we live, with the affirmation of invisible quantities—the insistence that things that never measure on standard scales are divine. The sanctity of childhood, the genius of youth, the necessity of leadership roles for women, the self-determination of communities of color. The poem that comes climbing out of your brain, its tendrils sticking to the brick walls behind you, the grey windows around you, the fire escapes of the Dearborn Homes and the beards of saints above the clouds. Against all odds, we believe, that the unquantifiable thing inside—this life—is real and can change the world around us.
– Sekou Sundiata
I’m at the table where we have our staff meetings. Emiliano Bourgeois-Chacon, Youth Speaks veteran, front-running candidate for greatest youth poet of all time (ask Hodari Davis), and future legal advocate, has brought his younger cousin to the office on some grown man alumnus stuff. “I’m Nur,” his cousin says, and begins drawing cartoons with a pencil. “I’m Nur, his little cousin.” Children like to repeat things. “Did you meet him in college?” Emiliano laughs, says he was in high school when we met, and Nur shows the comic he’s drawn to Brandon and Isa, who take a break from the multiverses on their laptops to smile and encourage him. Isa points out where Nur has written her name into a bubble. “I’m floating. I’m winning at life right now,” she says.
In about an hour, kids will start filing into the office for the Queeriosity workshop. There will be chatter, and banter, and wheeling of chairs, fall-down funny laughter, and poems. There will be the ones who come weary after grappling with life, its many heads and limbs unfair in how they snipe and grasp. There will be ones who lay their heads on the faux wooden table and close their eyes while water is poured around them—fragile oasis. There will be combat, and arguments, and insistence on language and line breaks. There will be the hush that comes when someone is telling the truth about something, for the very first time, and we are all here to watch these words be born.
Peace, fellow traveler. This is for you. It’s been a minute since we’ve chopped. I don’t know where you are—how you pronounce your name today—but I know you. You’re halfway across the earth, seeing Ghana from a glass-bottom plane. You’re in the grip of fever-dream, your own mind prophesying greatness. You’re in a vestibule to adulthood, wondering if this next job application, or school loan, or piece of inscrutable administrivia is really the wisest step to realizing the promise of that luminous wisp of spirit that rattles your chest, insisting on overgrowing your childhood.
It may not make sense—how we’re all connected in this work, how we are always catching each other, but we are. This is for my boy Dave Kelly (aka Cap D), who went from underground Chicago super-emcee to general counsel of the Golden State Warriors. I just got a call from homie—he told me how he’s bringing his family out and how things have changed since he was signed to Wild Pitch in the mid-90s. For Emiliano Bourgeois-Chacon, who brought his cousin to the office today.
For all the Youth Speaks folks past and present—Healey, who is planning an insurrection from Lake Merritt, and Senator Whitehead, who sends congratulations and well-wishes from New York. For Chinaka, and Rafael, and Adriel, and Nico, and Dahlak, and Katri, and Biko, and Tongo, and José, and Jason and their comrades—the children of our first golden age—who travel the world and come back home and draw mustaches on the Mona Lisas along the way. For Watsky, who is fast becoming a monomial underground rap fixture. For Brandon and Erika. For Nick and Isa and Kat. For Mush. You are brilliant in your genius, in your lashing out, in your insistence on the way the floating feather would land with the austerity of lead.
This is one reason I try to go to the local Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam every year. Last week’s event, held in San Francisco, was part of the 16th annual “Grand Slam Finals,” in which 13 young poets, winnowed down from over a hundred, compete in front of a large crowd to be one of five going to the national championship event in July. The competition is open to any youth 13-19 years old in the greater Bay Area, and as last evening’s MC Josh Healy put it, “Teachers might encourage a promising poet to compete, and the poet might first think ‘well, at least it might be a way to get out of class’ — but then wind up here in front of thousands.” Poets reading their work are graded by a star panel of judges and the tallied votes determine who moves forward to the next round.
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Date: February 16-March 3 | Thurs.-Sat. | 8:00pm | $20-$25
Ticket Link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/221342
Location: 925 Mission St., #109, San Francisco, CA 94103
Intersection for the Arts presents TREE CITY LEGENDS: the world premiere of a new performance by emerging playwright/musician Dennis Kim, directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and the third installment of Intersection for the Arts’ and Resident Theatre Company Campo Santo’s Next series.
Tree City Legends is a multidisciplinary theater work that melds post-hip hop aesthetics, urban folklore, Korean traditional tales, live music, legend, and parable. It is all together, part bildungsroman, part blues song, and part Book of Jonah remix.
Biblical imagery, multi-perspective narrative, and a sense of longing underpin the main character, Junie’s story. These elements haunt Junie’s rise and demise as a folk-singing sensation and eventual escapist. The bitter realities of the neighborhood block and a ghostly past loom in the background as a family of brothers struggles to make sense of a world that was not made with them in mind.
The piece expands beyond any specific Korean American experience and explores the profound feelings of rootlessness and abandonment of urban people of color, specifically Asian Pacific Islander American immigrants in tracing the lives of the Kane brothers.
Juan Amador (a.k.a. Wonway Posibul)
Sean San José
Dirty Boots (live music: James Dumlao, Rachel Lastimosa, Gyasi Ross)
Creative Collaborative Team:
Darl Andrew Packard
Tree City Legends Community Altar
Celebrate and share the memories of events and people that are important to us. Bring your photos, cards, poems, memories, and gifts to help build a community altar and pay tribute to those who have passed. This community altar will serve as an evolving and open memorial on the set of Tree City Legends. We invite you to add gifts to the altar in honor of your loved ones over the course of the performance.
My story is for the depths of the ocean
the breath that I lack when I feel burdened
the fear that grapples the legs of children as they try to run away
it’s for your eyes and mine to collide on understanding’s halo
I come from still peace in the midst on an empire’s downfall
the bravery of an unknown someone in the face of mystery
I come from darkness into light as I cease to be frightened due to my aliveness
I come from the past, it’s sure to be our future
My eyes see the unseen to the best of their ability
they see the pain that lies unwritten on your face but folded
into the wrinkles of your forehead
you can’t hide it
My eyes see the way you lie at night unable to sleep
because of the panic you breathe in your dreams
they see the condensation that gathers in your eyes as you stare into the future
My silence lives in my ears
the constant ringing of nothing echoing so strongly
my silence abides in your skin the way it’s absorbed and sinks in
it’s at home in the tree carried there by the breeze which gives it the sound
My silence breathes
it is the space between us which vibrates to be complete
My voice screams to fill the gaps where bridges should be
the loneliness of being
it cries for the hurt of other’s living
the burden of being
it demands for the safety that hasn’t come yet
and invisible net
securing in it’s obscurity
My voice dreams of a day when silence is a scream that turns the ears of whisperers
to the sound.
Today we wrote about the wars we fight everyday. There is power in both naming the struggles we encounter and imagining strategies for survival. Before we approached the page, we opened up a collective dialogue about our fears and dreams; the forces against us and the tools we possess to fight back. We talked about everything from the over bearing expectation’s of our loved ones to the urgency of California’s education crisis. We agreed that our ability to wield the power of language is a weapon capable of transforming despair into possibility — we can reclaim what has been taken from us by writing our stories and speaking them back into the world. Here is a poem from one of our emergent voices, Sarah O’Neal, 16:
I live in a lie
separate states of being
i don’t know the real me
when there are so many
old habits die hard
evolved into zombies
the first steps to real change
caught in a vicious cycle
aren’t I facing it by writing it?
the change hasn’t come
and I’m not one to be patient
i’ve fooled the ones I hold closest
repeated so many times
it becomes truth
this wasn’t the plan
to be a disappointment
a person of words
with no action to back it
Every day I go to war
cuz once upon a time,
it was different
fantasy gives me hope
utopias are intellectual therapy
but my heart won’t cope
when race is still the basis
of day to day experience
I go to war
for the day social justice is attained
elimination of racism
neighborhoods will desegregate
and our schools will be rainbows
vibrant unification of each shade
nothing is ugly
different, weird, or obscure
faces of beauty
for my brother
who will never reminisce on his last meal
our pangs of hunger
make us stronger
our peoples history
so we fight on
united in struggle
and we fight on
Because I am most like
sapphire waves colliding against sand
silent promises of return
gifts left scattered
seashells adorn souls
this is distant me
I am strangled
by hopes and dreams
speaking in circles
forgetting I am lost
in the maze
that built this concrete jungle
And I survive
Through my heritage
Protector of my lineage
My ancestors guarded me
bearing the physical pain
the crack of masters whips
echo in my veins
fade with each generation
but never forgotten
at times I’m forgetful
but their strength
is forever engraved into these fists
built for fighting