We at Arts Corps wish to express our solidarity with and our gratitude to the youth, artists, and activists who are rising up with courage and persistence to confront injustice. The recent high profile events of unaccountable police violence against individuals and communities of color are extreme examples of the oppressions experienced by so many in our community on a daily basis. In our work, we seek to address one manifestation of systemic oppression—the inequity in access to arts education within our public school system based on race and family income—while also equipping our students with creative tools and strategies to express their voice and make change in the world around them. And that is precisely what they are doing. They are telling their stories, they are advocating for change, and in doing so, they are helping to lead us all to a more just future.
Poem by Donte Johnson, Arts Corps Teen Programs Co-Coordinator and Youth Speaks Seattle alumn