A Speech to Us

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have gathered here today to find solutions to the pressing issues in our world. The people we stand within are the youth. We are the network and we are here to create a change that was long needed. In fact, all of us have already made substantial changes in our communities and have made an impact simply by just being here. If anyone of the people here today are like me, they had no idea what they were getting into. I, myself, thought we would be roaming the mountains and becoming one with nature… This is what happens when you’re a city kid and you come to a graduate school in the middle of nowhere. However, I digress.

This is much more than the ever so refreshing Vermont air. We are here to grow as a people and learn of the places we never thought about before. We are here to manifest connections across differences and various cultures. Change is woven into our skin and tattooed in our tastebuds. People can feel it when they shake our hand and can hear it when we speak about our world. We are not a people to be looked over and brushed off to the side because of where we come from or who we are. We are a people to use our roots to empower ourselves and the world. We are a people to get the respect we deserve. That is why we are the network.

In this conference, we will take on tasks that will stimulate our mind and allow us to be hyperaware of the world around us. Our days here will be filled to the brim preparing for the fight ahead of us. Then we will take these bonds and knowledge, bring it back home and create an even bigger impact. We will take this fabric of change and weave in into the skin of others. We will teach people how to sew and we will become a giant blanket of yarn and silk and cotton. We are the agents of change.

Thank you for staying here with me for 3 days in Vermont. I am excited for what’s to come. Meeting adjourned.

Monica Sim

5 Responses to “A Speech to Us

  • You and your NGLN are on fire, Monica. The poetry, the posts on this website, the conversations you’re all…you’re all creating a new world, one no longer dominated by oppression and fear, a world filled with love and justice. This fills the older generation with hope and joy. We’re blessed to be a part of your work.

  • Tom McKenna
    4 years ago

    On fire indeed, Monica. In almost three decades of professional work with young people, I’ve never seen or felt the kind of energy, articulate communication, and care you all brought to Bread Loaf, and created there together. This is important! Don’t let the momentum die!

  • Ceci Lewis
    4 years ago

    I thought for sure I had responded to this wonderful post. I am ready and eager to help get this business going. The format for you post is creative and fun! We have to keep our creativity front and center, right? I am looking forward to reading more from our meeting maker!

  • Lillian Reeves
    4 years ago

    I didn’t see this beautiful post from all those long weeks ago in Vermont! I have to say, today, I needed to read this call to action! It is a powerful and thoughtful reminder of the work we have ahead of us and also it is an affirmation of what is possible when we work as a collective, rising to meet each other at our best.
    Fearless leader, message received!

  • Lou Bernieri
    4 years ago

    Folks, I’m not sure where to post this, but Dixie asked me to put it up. It’s a Lawrence BLTN meeting we had. Our youth had a Lawrence Youth Council meeting, but everything mentioned in the meeting notes involves youth and the NGLN cohort.

    Tue Oct 3, 2017, 6pm 
    Upstairs at El Taller 
    Present were Mery Lizardo, Julia Perlowski, Rich Gorham, Christine Jee, Kendra Bauer, Karen Kravchuk, Lou Bernieri, Joshua Alba, Yaneris Collado, Darianna Guerrero  
    Next meeting: Tue Nov 7, 6pm, El Taller 
    1. Fall Conference at Boys and Girls Club – Sat Nov. 4, 11:30am-3pm 
    For youth. In collaboration with Lawrence Youth Council  and ABL Writing Leaders
    Title: Culture: Be My Teacher 
    Guest artist: Harlym 1-2-5 (Jamele Adams, Brandeis) 

    Workshops (all done with youth leading or partnering) so far: Yaneris Collado, Lawrence Arts House, Julia Perlowski, LHS Writing Lab, Elevated Thought, Mery & Kendra on Food Literacy. Possibly Christine Jee, possibly music therapists.  
    2. SLICE program: every Tuesday 5:30-6:30, run by Writing Leaders 
    3. Si Se Puede with Julia, James, Carolin and Monica, Tuesdays 5-6pm 
    4. Manos Felices, Wednesdays 4:30-6pm, with Lawrence Arts House, Gladys, and other WLs 
    5. Writing and Arts Camp at Lawrence Public Library for middle and high school students. Next session October 23, 5-7pm. We are looking for partners to run a workshop.  Writing Leaders will collaborate or lead.
    6. South Lawrence East School / Phillips Academy workshops: 35 Phillips students with Darianna and Lou at South Lawrence East School 2nd grade, every Thursday, 1:50-2:20pm, reaching 150 kids.  
    7. Lawrence High Writing Lab at South Lawrence East School 4th grade, 25 LHS students reaching 150 kids 
    8. Writing Prompt: What do I hope for this school year?   We had a great sharing.  We vowed that we would write in every meeting this year. 
    9. Boys and Girls Club College Fair, Wed Oct 11, 6:00-7:30pm, open to all youth, 25-30 colleges 
    10. Unity for Puerto Rico event featuring performances, Thursday Oct 5, El Taller, 8pm, $5 donation 
    11. Library Open Mics, third Wednesday of each month, Wed Nov.15, Wed Dec 20, etc. 6:00-7:30pm, hosted by Yaneris Collado.  (These are in addition to the El Taller Open Mics on 3rd Thursdays) 

    12, Rising Loaves school year program to begin this month.

    13. Lawrence Writing Leader Jiberly is leading a writing project between the private school she attends in CT (Westover Academy and another CT private school (Chase Collegiate). Jiberly is mentoring Journey, and 11th grade Writing Leader from Chase. They’ve done writing workshops at both schools and will soon begin working with Waterbury elementary school students. ABL alumnus, Tim Watt, is helping to organize the project.

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