Writers of Social Justice: How One Pen Can Change the World.

Urban_Sites_Network_ConferenceThe Red Mountain Writing Project will host the 2013 Urban Sites Network Conference on April 25 -27, 2013. Presentations will align with four strands of the conference:  Social Justice and Literacy,  21st Century Literacies (Common Core, RtI, Content Area Literacy, Technology),  Local Site Development, Birmingham Historical Sessions.

Red Mountain Writing Project and National Student Poets Program (NSPP) poet Luisa Banchoff  will collaborate on several workshops during the National Writing Conference in April. Click here for more information.

Luisa Banchoff has been invited to connect her community service project to activities already coordinated through the conference, including visits in schools in high need areas where students are immersed in challenges with poverty, violence, drugs, lack of opportunity and much more.  The director has suggested that Luisa facilitate a workshop with middle school students in one of these schools under the tutelage and mentorship of that school’s NWP resident teaching fellow.  The goal is to help these students discover that their voices matter, that others value what they have to say, to encourage those students to use their voices and stories through writing and to make positive force for change in their immediate environments, whether it’s with friends, family or those in the broader inner city community.  This would take place on Friday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  They have connections with the local TV stations and would work with our corporate communications team to organize press coverage of the school workshop.

Luisa is also invited to a host a session for NWP teachers on Saturday, April 27 in the morning.  Not only would Luisa share her poetry, but she would also reflect on how her teachers have inspired and supported her throughout her development, and what influences her to write.  This is the first time a student has been invited to facilitate a session and we anticipate that a lot of interest will be generated as the teachers will have the unique opportunity to take back strategies to improve their teaching practices based specifically on the student perspective.

On Thursday, there are day-long, pre-conference sessions where teachers, lawyers, judges, community leaders, politicians and authors involved in the Civil Rights Movement will share their experiences and perspectives, followed by an evening reception, and Luisa is also invited to attend that.

Click here to view the National Student Poets Program fact sheet.