About the program

The Sacramento Area Youth Speaks (SAYS) Youth Poet Laureate Program provides a platform that promotes youth voice, civic engagement, political literacy and community building. Through this endeavor, we aim to push the literary arts and poetry aesthetic to include young people's voices, ideas, beliefs and their values that are significantly under-represented and marginalized.

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In close partnership with Urban Word, Youth Speaks, Inc. and local city agencies and schools we can move youth voices into the center of civic engagement.

The personal, the artistic, and the community become equal partners in the success stories of our young people. It is the success of our youth that we honor as authentic change in a city’s evolving cultural milieu (as opposed to the negative media-influenced portrayals of our youth), and we believe this success will be part of the tapestry of Sacramento's brilliance. In New York City alone, this program has allowed young poets access to City Hall, City Council meetings, and high levels of press including the NY Times, Democracy Now, Daily News, Al Jazeera, and numerous city-sponsored events.

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