A project of Democracy Fund

Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community: Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes


by Julio Tordoya

In Brief

As a program of Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes centers the leadership and creativity of black and brown youth, age 13-19, in the production of a bilingual online arts, culture, and information magazine for youth, with mentorship and training provided by staff and community partners.

Summary

Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community collaborates with community partners to train and mentor youth of color to identify, produce, and publish stories from their communities, inspiring social change, racial equity, and language justice through Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes. Through this grant, the program will expand its capacity to train youth in media literacy, information-gathering, and multimedia storytelling. It will also give them a foundation of the historical context and current social and political systems impacting their communities, while establishing deep mentor relationships with media-makers and artists of color.

The project is anchored by Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community, which was founded in 2011 and engages people who are marginalized with creative writing and the arts. Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes project builds upon an existing program that is deeply connected with its community. The project will continue collaborations with organizations including Asheville FM, Leonel Garcia, JMPRO-TV, Aisha Adams Media, and the Urban News, as well as individual artist mentors.

In Their Own Words

“Receiving this grant helps us to create a paradigm shift for storytelling led by black and brown youth in North Carolina and is really important in predominantly white Western North Carolina where communities of color do not experience equity in resources or political power. Our increased capacity to build a container and platform where the Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes youth are mentored by media-makers and artists of color not only strengthens the experience and training for squad members, it really stabilizes what we are doing so that this can be a model and reference point for how to do this kind of work.”

Sekou Coleman, Facilitator of Collaboration and Innovation

How to Connect

Learn more about Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community website and Facebook. Also visit the magazine sites wordonthestreetmag.org (English) and vozdelosjovenes.org (Spanish) and the program Facebook page.

Total Commitment

2018: $40,000 for one year

Learn More

Dive deeper by learning about the North Carolina Local News Lab Fund and discovering our other grantees.