Say Word’s mission is to empower, enlighten, and activate young people through writing and performance to improve literacy, and cultivate self-awareness, social change, and healing. Our work breaks the cycle of apathy by increasing access to education, culture, community and social awareness, and introduces creativity and literacy as integral parts of the path to self-discovery.
The Say Word approach utilizes the following Five Ps:
"The most important thing I learned from Say Word is how to be happy. That telling my story wasn't something to be ashamed of, that changed everything for me.”
Our curriculum engages students at the intersection of literacy and art. We create a safe and supportive environment, encouraging students to dive deep and explore open ended questions, helping them to differentiate between who they are told they are and who they decide to be.
The lynchpins of our approach are respect, empathy and, as our curriculum collaborator Professor Anthony Blacksher put it, “a pedagogy of love.” When students are able to direct that respect, empathy, and love inwards, they open up a dialogue fueled by curiosity, creativity and imagination.
Our primary goal is to move our students forward and break the cycle of apathy. Through their exploration of inner thoughts and outside forces, seen through the lenses of empathy, respect and love, our students learn to speak up for themselves, to take responsibility, to have accountability and to empower themselves. At that point, the apathy falls away, and they become agents of change for themselves and for their communities.
And how? Through spoken word. Our values, our curriculum and our instructors are all dedicated to using spoken word as a means to self-discovery. Our students learn to process and digest their experiences by finding the power in a pen and telling their story.
Our curriculum is available online, in two package variations:
Package A includes the Curriculum Handbook and a One Year subscription to the Say Word Online Guide*.
Package B includes the Curriculum Handbook, a One Year subscription to the Say Word Online Guide*, and a two-day intensive training with Say Word staff.
*curriculum can be renewed annually