“Never hesitate to hold out your hand; never hesitate to accept the outstretched hand of another.” Pope Saint John XXIII
CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee
By Leela Ramdeen
Chair, CCSJ & Director, CREDI
Did you see and hear our talented youth at CCSJ’s & the Catholic Youth Commission’s 5th annual Spoken Word Competition which was aired live on TCN on the evening of Friday, October 25? It focused on the theme for Justice, Peace, and Community Week: The dignity of work.
I wonder if our educators know what creative, innovative youth we have in T&T? I suppose they will only really know if they ‘free-up’ the curriculum and start thinking of new ways of developing the talents of our youth.
Kathryn Michalko’s thesis entitled: ‘The effect of Spoken Word Poetry on the Development of Voice in Writing’ is instructive.
Her study “reveals that the use of Spoken Word Poetry (SWP) in the classroom impacts the development of voice in writing…teachers should incorporate Spoken Word into their writing curriculum.”
SWP “is a writing tool that will help students breed confidence and discover their self-identities through the art of performing”. She says that the teaching of SWP ” is important because it addresses students’ critical thinking, democratic engagement, and empowers their voices through verse”.
As Richard Lee-Thai, author at Youth are Awesome says: “Spoken word poetry can touch the human soul regardless of age, gender, race and religion—it transcends physical traits and connects people on an emotional level…I want to promote Spoken Word as a tool to mend broken souls, to inspire our citizens and to connect the community.”
We thank our contestants: Alexandria Douglas, Alliyah Cooper, Chevelle Neptune Francis, Mikayla Cassandra Weekes, and Serapion Jones, including our First, Second and Third prize winners, Malique Wilson (16 years, St Mary’s College), Kerlyssa De Verteuil (15 years, St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph ) and Coryal Sylvester (19 years, UWI); our judges: Kwame Weekes, Dianne Wells and Mickel Alexander; MCs: Dave Marcus and Lueann Henry; Presenters: Caron Greaves, Cavelle Joseph St Omer, Donna Marie Alexander; Performers: MOE; Extempo group: Dylan Mohammed, Francois Sylvester, Nathaniel Williams; TCN Team, Episcopal Delegate for Youth & Young Adults, Taresa Best-Downes & CYC’s Events’ Coordinator, Rica Charles; CCSJ’s assistants: Lorna Chee-Wah and Cheryl Wallace.
We share with you
THE CYCLE OF LIFE AT WORK
Malique Wilson, St Mary’s College
I am a worker
And I have rights
I just trying to make
So, I can get to higher heights
Me being employed and receiving a salary
Is proving to be a problem
For both you and me
You think because you have a
“better place of employment”
That you could ill-treat me and give me your judgement?
I don’t care if you are in the 99
or the so-called one per cent
Treating me as if I am no more than one cent, means you think I am
I work hard for what I earn
Whether I’m a janitor, a security guard, a DJ or barber
Why do you want to kill me, burn me and put me in an urn?
I think it’s because what I do, makes me happier than you
Now I’m sorry if you’re working a 9–5, trying to stay alive
And that what you do, is making you relive the 1990 coup every day
I’m sorry that you have to hear your boss say
“You there! What you doing? Like you don’t want to get no pay?”
And this boss finds all the ways to always make you sin in different ways from the time you drive in, to the time you sign out and especially during your breaks
But that doesn’t mean
That you have to make me feel smaller than a mustard seed
I am proud of what I do, it will forever be my passion
Even when I am forced to adorn myself in all sorts of weird fashions
Show me the same respect that you desire
Because we all running the same race, maybe just spinning different tyres
I wanna wish you a Good Year that revolves happiness
So that you can share the love that comes from God’s kiss
Treat others as you would want to be treated
Hopefully the next time, my greeting would be returned with a ‘Good morning’
Now I don’t envy your occupation
We all have our part to play
I pride myself in mine, and I respect your station
So, do me a favour, and have a nice day
I am a worker
And I have rights
I just trying to make a dollar
So, I can get to higher heights.