Blessed Unrest Art and Social Justice Festival
A few Highlights from the Past
BAY-Peace Visits the Big Apple!
by Tele'jon Quinn
On March 20th, 2013, the BAY-Peace team flew out to New York for a Spring break we will never forget! For many of us it was our first time there and for some of us it was our first time flying. Nearly every moment of the trip was a completely new experience that offered a lot to learn from. We are especially appreciative of the former BAY-Peace team member, Abraham Velasquez and our sister organization, The YA-YA Network. They made our week long stay in NYC not only welcoming, but they made it feel like home. We also appreciate the Brotherhood/Sister Sol for allowing us to share and receive art with the talented young folks in their Lyrical Circle.
Of all of our major impactful experiences, the Lyrical Circle with Brotherhood/Sister Sol was one of our first. For those of you unfamiliar with what goes on in a lyrical circle, we share our lyrics! Usually through spoken word or hip hop. We had the privilege of hearing their stories in the different style of writing the East Coast has to offer. However different the stories were, there was usually a common ground in the struggles between the East and West. We related to stories of destructive relationships, poverty, and gentrification. Watching the thousands of films that portray life in New York City could never have prepared us for the real experiences these young artists shared with us.
Next on our list of dope impactful experiences was the Street Harassment Summit; that was organized and facilitated by young people. At this summit we had interesting dialogue around the role of womyn in street harassment. People shared thought provoking personal experiences. Working in small groups, we identified the root causes, the institutions that reinforce, the outcomes and effects, and realistic solutions to the street harassment issue. By far the most interesting conversation that came up, in my opinion, was the claim that even if a womyn chose to engage a street harasser and pursue sexual relations, that none of us has the right to judge her and say she doesn't have respect for herself. Some very interesting debate arose from this statement, and that dialogue was the highlight of my summit experience.
But that was all just a portion of what we experienced in New York. We did so much from facilitating a Theater of the Oppressed workshop for our YA-YA fam to trying strange new food from some Mom and Pop shops, and even having our first White Castle Sliders. We danced in front of projects at night, we freestyled on subways, and we had full-blown cyphers on the glowing streets of Time Square. We did just about everything a dope young group could do in NYC, except feed one of the largest capitalist monsters in the country. Alright, maybe we fed it a little.
Video by Abe Velazquez
PLAY VIDEO Thanks to Abe Velazquez for editing some highlights of a great year into this six minute video. It includes our street actions, forum theatre work, our "Instruments of Peace" workshops at Emiliano Zapata Street Academy, and our Lyrical Circles poets. And thanks to all the amazing young people who have contributed their talents, intelligence and passion to BAY-Peace. Together, we are making a difference in Oakland!
PLAY VIDEO Tele'Jon Quinn, together with Christsna Sot, Brian Piera and Megan Torio, shared their original poetry on the BART trains in an effort to raise consciousness about the issue of youth homicides—in particular those being carried out by professional and vigilante law enforcement officers. Tele'Jon Quinn is a member of the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team who graduated from Met West High School in June 2012 and now attends Laney College. He, Megan, Christsna and Brian have all been active with BAY-Peace and participate in the Friday night Lyrical Circle Writers Group at BAY-Peace.
BAY-Peace Tax Day Action in Oakland!
On April 17th BAY-Peace Youth Leaders and students from our Resistance Art Projects Class at Oakland Emiliano Zapata Street Academy teamed up with youth from 67 Sueños, war tax resisters and a coalition of other anti-war activists including Code Pink, Grandmothers Against the War, Courage to Resist on Tax Day. We used poetry, theater and dance to let folks know how the youth of Oakland feel about the fact that half our federal taxes are used for war!
Thanks to Ces Rosales, Siri Margerin, Jeff Paterson & Lucinda Daly for taking these beautiful photos of our Tax Day Action!
And thanks to David Nelson for creating this video of our Flash Mob dance.
Check out our Video "BAY-Peace Anthem"
To see other videos that were selected, click here.
The IHTD Youth Film Festival asks young people to speak out on the federal budget and asks them to consider:
The $1 trillion spent yearly on the U.S. military
The $1 trillion spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
The $1 trillion plus in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans
The IHTD Youth Film Festival is sponsored by American Friends Service Committee and National Priorities Project (NPP) with the purpose of involving young people in the debate about federal budget priorities. Participants will be receive training and will spend a day on Capitol Hill talking with legislators about where our taxes could better be used!
If you'd like to participate in the Third Annual 2013 IHTD Youth Film Festival, here's more info: http://ihtd.org/2013-film-festival/
JAMRS stands for the "Joint Advertising Market Research Studies." The JAMRS database is funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of maximizing military recruitment efforts. It is a massive registry of 30 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 that includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, email address, race and ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, Grade Point Average, college intent, military interest, field of study, and the ASVAB Test score. JAMRS will sell your information to military recruiters... UNLESS YOU OPT OUT!
BAY-Peace supports and empowers Bay Area youth to transform militarism and other forms of violence through youth organizing and artistic resistance. We offer a holistic youth leadership program that integrates vocational development, artistic expression, socio-political education, community organizing, healing and personal transformation.
We are looking for people to join our
New Advisory Board! More Info HERE
Narratives for Our Fight for Freedom (Watch the film online HERE)
This 24 minute mini-documentary explores how four youth in Oakland, California are creating art to deal with their families' struggles in overcoming racism, poverty, gentrification and police brutality. Our film balances personal vignettes about trauma and resilience with footage of community efforts to unite around positive change. We feature the role of young artist/activists of color whose voices are often left out of the dominant narrative.
The documentary was conceived and created by BAY-Peace youth with the support of the Akonadi Foundation's Beloved Community Fund. It was produced by Simphony Productions, an Oakland-based company run by Luis Montoya, who is an alumni of, and frequent partner with BAY-Peace.