Cy Springs students use poetry slam event to promote empowerment

May 23, 2019

Cypress Springs High School junior Deavion Williams performs spoken word during the school’s poetry slam program May 16 as part of its No Place for Hate initiative, which helps create and sustain inclusive school environments where students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed. (Photo by Alissay Parra, Cypress Springs HS)
Cypress Springs High School junior Deavion Williams performs spoken word during the school’s poetry slam program May 16 as part of its No Place for Hate initiative, which helps create and sustain inclusive school environments where students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed. (Photo by Alissay Parra, Cypress Springs HS)

May 23, 2019—Cypress Springs High School held its second annual No Place for Hate poetry slam throughout the day May 16 in the performance gym during English periods, as students and staff performed spoken word and other pieces to go alongside other performances in helping promote empowerment, safety and positivity.

New additions included more staff performances as well as a routine from the Young Ladies of Positive Action (YLPA) step team.

“We have a diversity of poems on different stories of students’ lives,” said Shannon Gatlin, Cypress Springs English department chair. “Different aspects on being bullied, social justice and their coming of age story is a powerful message to share with the rest of the Panthers.”

Cypress Springs High School’s Young Ladies of Positive Action step team performs during the school’s poetry slam program May 16 as part of its No Place for Hate initiative. (Photo by Alissay Parra, Cypress Springs HS)
Cypress Springs High School’s Young Ladies of Positive Action step team performs during the school’s poetry slam program May 16 as part of its No Place for Hate initiative. (Photo by Alissay Parra, Cypress Springs HS)

Sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, No Place for Hate is a program that helps create and sustain inclusive school environments where all students feel valued and have the opportunity to succeed by promoting respect for individual differences.

The event began as a vehicle for students to address issues in their lives and help turn words into action.

Classes rotated into the performance throughout the day with each new audience welcomed before the program began. The audience was encouraged to show their appreciation of performers through applause and snapping of fingers.

Cypress Springs junior Deavion Williams presented a piece entitled Brown Sugar Queen, which garnered much praise from those in attendance.

“Being in poetry slam is amazing,” Williams said. “It was like everyone really understood and related to our poems, so it felt good to share them.”

 

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