Share the Mic: Harding Students Use Their Voices to Create Change

Harding Middle School students have found a way to express the emotions, troubles, and triumphs of daily life through poetry and are encouraging others to do the same.

Students will perform their poetry for the community during “Share the Mic: Community Voices Creating Change” on:

Friday, January 27
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
State Historical Building
600 E. Locust St.

All students, educators and community members interested in performance poetry are invited to “Share the Mic: Community Voices Creating Change.”

Proceeds from the event — held three times during the school year — will be donated to local non-profit businesses and organizations. By donating to others in need, students learn the importance of giving back to the community.

Next Friday’s event is in support of the Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center. Donation is $5 for adults and $1 for students.

Harding Middle School teachers Emily Lang and Kristopher Rollins are helping students with their poetry writing and hope to find six outstanding poets to take to the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival next year.

Lang and Rollins have co-created several avenues for students to express themselves through creative writing, poetry and performing. They meet with students weekly for a creative writing workshop, teach Hip-Hop: Rhetoric and Rhyme, a course focusing on literacy standards and objectives daily, and hold a summer program called Minorities on the Move, which uses hip-hop and popular culture to examine and dissect racial stereotypes as well as the struggles and triumphs of minorities.

“It is essential for students and youth living in low-income situations to have opportunities to take ownership of their communities in positive ways, deconstructing many of the negative stereotypes affiliated with poverty,” said both Lang and Rollins.