826 LA and 826 National Students Use Poetry to Demand Social Justice

Sappi's Ideas That Matter grant winner makes peaceful demands to right our inequitable world
Oct 13, 2020 1:30 PM ET

826 LA and 826 National students use poetry to demand social justice

In 2015, 826LA and in 2016, 826 National were Ideas that Matter grant recipients. 826 is the largest youth writing network in the country with nine chapters that serve nearly 40,000 under-resourced students ages 6-18 each year. Each chapter has an imaginative storefront that reimagines tutoring as anything but traditional; provides a gateway for meeting families, teachers, and volunteers; and connects students with community members.

Whether it’s the March for Our Lives, the Youth Climate Strike, or Black Lives Matter, young people are at the frontlines of combating injustice and changing the world. And right now is no different.

In this spirit, 826 National recently solicited youth poetry from its nine chapters and worked with 826CHI, 826LA and 826 Valencia to edit the resulting compilation called Poets in Revolt!

The talented student voices in the publication explore themes including body positivity, institutional racism, religious freedom, sexual identity, bicultural identity, climate crisis, gun violence, and education inequality. Poets in Revolt! began as a workshop led by Ola Faleti at 826 Chicago during which students drew meaningful connections between poetry and social justice. The theme echoed topics students have been exploring across the 826 network in recent years and is an important document of this moment in youth voice and activism.

Explore previous Ideas That Matter grant winners' stories here.