Alum James Kass Created Youth Speaks, Brave New Voices Festival

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
EMORY UNIVERSITY NEWS CENTER -- “James Kass was a student at San Francisco State University who was disillusioned with how poetry was being taught to young people,” Jamie Weems says. “Rather than alienating them, he was interested in opening doors to share stories and redefine what it means to be a poet and to write poetry. The most radical thing was to give them a microphone and permission to share their stories. “That was the beginning of Youth Speaks, an organization that helps young people develop their voices as creators of social change. In 1996, the first Brave New Voices was held with only about four teams. We’re now on our 18th festival representing more than 70 organizations from the U.S. and abroad — over 600 young poets who will come to Emory to share their words together.”