Street Poets harnesses the healing power of poetry and music to build community and inspire our next generation to write, rap and dream a new world into being for us all.
- Street Poets breaks the cycle of violence in the lives of at-risk and incarcerated youth, awakening them to their gifts.
- Street Poets builds creative community, bringing youth, adults and elders of diverse backgrounds into deep transformational relationship.
- Street Poets consults and collaborates with other organizations and communities to inspire both individual and systemic change, transforming our culture from one too often driven by fear to one that celebrates healing and the creative process.
Born from a poetry workshop in a Los Angeles County juvenile probation camp, Street Poets has evolved over the past 20+ years into a multi-dimensional, highly collaborative arts education organization harnessing the healing power of poetry music and ritual to save lives, create community and transform culture. In that time, Street Poets’ outreach has extended from prison cells to public school classrooms, from inner-city projects to Indian reservations, from L.A. street corners to countries like Belize, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Finland, Kenya and South Africa.
Street Poets operates with the understanding that if we are to restore balance to ourselves and to the world, we need to be able to step through our fears to the gifts that too often lie dormant beside our deepest wounds. If we’re afraid to explore or even acknowledge these wounds, we condemn ourselves to the same tired cycle of addictive consumption, violence and despair. We become like modern machinery, slaves to a system propelling us toward our own destruction.
Whether rapping in a recording studio or singing in a Sweatlodge, our Street Poets embrace the truth that there is an indigenous soul that lives within each of us, that remembers what it feels like to exist in harmony with the earth, and that can see beyond the surface of things. We believe that, buried in our bones, there are ancient solutions to our most intractable modern problems. Street Poets’ ultimate mission is to liberate those solutions, that medicine, our gifts – so that we all can experience together what it feels like to be free.