Monday, February 15, 2016

INvitation to EXpress: "BLACK LIVES MATTER matters... to ME..."

New York Society for Ethical Culture's 
 Ethics for Teen Leaders 
invites youth to write up a storm for the inaugural
"Compassionate Pen" Writing Prompt!

Entries may be written or graphic:
1. Poem
2. Short Personal Essay
3. Short Story
4. Graphic
5. Letter

Submit entries to 
Please submit entries throughout the fall season... 2016

Excellent Entries will be:
 *** published on Ethical Blog ***
*** invited to read at ETHICAL NYSEC ***
*** and offered support in a "justice deed" they wish to organize in the fall season***
Both in language and in content, 
contributions must be ethically considered -- in other words, examine your offering, please, through the 
lens of respect and values.
Teens of all ages are welcome to participate.  
A little younger, a little older?  
Don't be discouraged from participating.  
Also, Please include a 2-3 sentence bio-statement. 
In it, mention how you got involved with this endeavor.  
For more information, and for links to resources, scroll down and see below.
If you wish to OFFER more resources to the young writing community about the topic,
as food for thought, you may send it to
marked COMPASSIONATE PEN SUGGESTION.  Input is welcome.

A statement about the writing Prompt, to get young writers going....
Dear Teens and those who love them,
          This is an invitation to create,  hosted by NYSEC's teen scene:  Ethics For Teen Leaders.  
           "Black Lives Matter ME!" is the inaugural writing prompt for Compassionate Pen's call to teen leaders, far and wide.  
           "Black Lives Matter" are the words of our day.  This phrase holds urgent meaning for American culture in 2016, and it beckons thoughtful contemplation.  What it means to you as a caring young person IS the very quest of this Compassionate Pen writing prompt.  
           The assertion that the phrase Black Lives Matter "does matter"  is stated in the writing prompt title, to compel earnest and compassionate inquiry instead of cynicism.  Adding " ME" was the suggestion of a wise teen-consultant who hopes to emphasize how important the PERSONAL is, within this reflective and creative process.
          "Black Lives Matter"  is a modern civil rights call of a kind, over half a century after Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  This call at this time indicates that we might need to be ever more attentive of unmet needs, caring of continued inequalities and vigilant about outstanding harms occurring within the very "American Dream" Americans have been creating since King.  
         This idea of The Compassionate Pen writing prompt was born of a dialogue with a middle-school-aged young man who wanted to do a school research paper about Black Lives Matter and was told by his teacher that perhaps the topic was not "age-appropriate."    It is important to give this dear young man, and every other young person in America a chance to grapple with the justice issues of the day.  Indeed, youth have been the buds of society's necessary changes toward justice throughout the world throughout time.  We must make space for their voices, and listen and nurture them.  Ethics for Teen Leaders aims to do this with the Compassionate Pen prompts.  
          You may link to the for more information and resources about the Black Lives Matter movement, if that serves you in your process. 

Some resources:
Rethinking Schools: Black Students' Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter Movement
Activists make Black Lives Matter anthems: Music
The Nation: Concrete Plans

Democracy Now: Tamir Rice
DeRayMcKesson talks to Stephen Colbert
Black Lives Matters on Campuses
Blind-Spot: Test

The Privilege Walk

Racial Literacy in Schools: a video presentation
Children discuss Black History Month