Using poetry to connect incarcerated youth and adults with their communities
I love going to New Beginnings. I share with them how poetry allows me to express my emotions in a positive way and helps people understand where I'm coming from. I know what they're going through and I want to be there for them.
– Delonte, FM Poet Ambassador
Free Minds members who are now home read and discuss their own poetry and those of members still incarcerated through our “On the Same Page: Free Minds Poetry in the Community and the Classroom” events. Reentry members, known as Poet Ambassadors, are the core of these events, using their leadership skills and own experiences to offer a new way to engage with issues of youth violence and incarceration and to find healing through the powerful medium of creative writing. “On the Same Page” events are held with varying audiences, including students (middle school, high school, or college), community groups (offices, churches, organizations, book clubs, etc.), and corporations (national and international). If you know of a class or group interested in hosting an event, please fill out our event form.
Free Minds also hosts a monthly “On the Same Page: Write Night” where community volunteers gather alongside Free Minds Poet Ambassadors to provide uplifting feedback on the poetry of members still incarcerated, which is then returned to the poet. It is a simple but powerful way to support members’ processes of self-awareness and change, as well as read great writing and meet other volunteers!