Spoken Word Poetry Night Celebrates Bullying Prevention and Positive Relationships

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Edmonton, AB: Alberta-based bullying prevention organization Safe and Caring has partnered with the Breath In Poetry Collective to organize SPOKEN WORDplay: Speak Up Against Bullying on Tuesday, November 25 at 9:00 PM at the Rouge Lounge, in downtown Edmonton. This open-mike poetry evening will bring together local artists, performers, youth and community leaders to recognize National Bullying Awareness Week.

For Safe and Caring, this event is an opportunity to raise awareness of the prevalence of and damage caused by bullying amongst children, youth and adults. By providing opportunities for young adults and community leaders to express themselves creatively and share their experiences with bullying, Safe and Caring also hopes to build connections and promote a culture of caring in the community.

According to Susan Hopkins, Ed.D, Executive Director of Safe and Caring, “strengthening connections to one another by sharing our stories and experiences, and than having a window into the stories of others – similar and different – builds bridges within and across communities. Empathy and healthy relationships can be sparked through stories, and learning more about each other and one another’s struggles can prevent bullying and violence of all kinds.”

Ahmed Ali, one of the organizers of the Breath In Poetry Collective, is always looking for opportunities to connect his group with the greater Edmonton and Alberta community. The Collective often partners with local not-for-profit organizations to engage members in important social issues, and encourages members to deliver spoken word workshops with local children and youth to help them develop their creativity, writing and performance skills. For Ahmed Ali, “Art has the capacity to evoke our inner most feelings of empathy and compassion. Poetry is a form of healing, when we read poetry to express our emotions, we are both educating and providing therapy. With the use of poetry, we are able to understand the different instances of bullying that occur. This helps us gather the necessary resources and support to prevent bullying from continuing in our community while helping those individuals who might have experienced such issues persevere.”

SPOKEN WORDplay: Speak Up Against Bullying is open to all members of the public over 18 years of age. Entrance is free or by donation. All donations will go towards Safe and Caring’s youth and community outreach programming.

About Safe and Caring

The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (Safe and Caring) is a not-for-profit organization, which builds community capacity to prevent bullying and violence against children and youth through the promotion of healthy relationships.  As a centre of excellence, Safe and Caring fosters effective networks and partnerships to improve the quality of life for all of Alberta’s children and youth.  For more information about Safe and Caring, visit www.safeandcaring.ca.

About Breath In Poetry Collective

The Breath In Poetry Collective is a group of poetry performers and enthusiasts that volunteer their time to promote spoken word in Alberta. Since our inception in 2009, Breath In has seen membership from some of Edmonton’s most dynamic poets. They routinely organize outreach events for the Edmonton arts and not-for-profit community. Members of the collective lead various workshops in Edmonton Public Schools and at the University of Alberta, bringing poetry to the classroom, and teaching Alberta’s youth to express themselves and their experiences through art.

About National Bullying Awareness Week

Bullying Awareness Week is a Canada-wide initiative to raise awareness of the prevalence and negative impacts of bullying. The week occurs in the 3rd week of November, and has been officially recognized by the City of Edmonton, as well as by the Government of Alberta in the newly released Education Act. In addition to the Creating Safe Spaces Waffle Breakfast, Safe and Caring is hosting a series of community engagement and awareness events. For more information about National Bullying Awareness Week events, visit: www.safeandcaring.ca/bullying-awareness-week-2014.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Meaghan Trewin
Communications Coordinator, Safe and Caring
780.822.1503 | mtrewin@safeandcaring.ca

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