Monthly Archives: December 2014

Top 10 Highlights of 2014

1)    The students of Urban Leadership hosted our First Annual Teen Summit, bringing 200+ youth together to discuss issues of social justice, partake in artistic workshops, moderate a youth + community panel, perform for a standing-room only audience and debut a powerful photo project shot by local photography duo INEZ. Oh, and there may have been a little dancing, too! 

2)   We celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a full day of events, performing at the Governor’s celebration, marching from the Iowa State Capitol to Evelyn Davis Park, and headlining the Forest Ave. Library Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

3)   We hosted four Share the Mic: Community Voices Creating Change events, raising nearly $3000 for local non-profit organizations and a well-deserving family in Des Moines.

4)   We hosted our 2nd Annual DSM Teen Poetry Slam, with the 6 top-scoring poets representing Des Moines at the Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Festival in Philadelphia, PA.

5)   Team Des Moines was asked to perform at the opening ceremony of Brave New Voices in front of 600+ youth poets, artists, and activists from around the world, receiving a standing ovation and representing our city with pride!

6)   Minorities on the Move, our 2-week summer program, expanded to all 5 high schools in DMPS, and 12 former youth participants + 6 certified teachers were hired to facilitate the program. There’s nothing more powerful than watching the youth of our city take over these programs! It was a proud moment for the RunDSM family.

7)   Movement 515 received a $70,000 grant from the United Way of Central Iowa to facilitate year-long spoken word + street art programming, allowing us to expand to all 5 high schools, hire 6 poet mentors and 1 street art instructor, and begin our first-ever school vs. school poetry slam season.

8)   RunDSM was officially adopted by the Des Moines Public Schools, allowing us the opportunity to provide more of our district’s incredible youth opportunities to express and have their voices heard. In addition to the new street art program, 6 youth have been hired by 21st Century Programming to work with Words Taylor and pilot our first Half-Pints Poetry program at King Elementary in January! Stay tuned for a show featuring the half-pints poets in 2015!

9)   Urban Leadership at Central Campus expanded to a 2-year program, with 17 students partaking in internships in 3 elementary schools in DMPS, writing and facilitating creative lessons to help 4th and 5th grader students define their identities.

10)                   The poets of Movement 515 performed at 10+ rallies, conferences, collegescommunity events, openings, and festivals, shining light on the human experience and the incredible youth of Des Moines Public Schools.

The Youth of DSM / Black Lives Matter

On Sunday, December 14, the youth of Des Moines organized a rally for peace to celebrate the lives of those lost due to police brutality. The present and our future are bright.

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All photos courtesy of RunDSM / Ms. Emily Lang

East High’s Share the Mic

On Friday, December 5, the poets of East High School hosted our final Share the Mic of 2014, with all proceeds benefiting Pearls for Girls. Special thanks to local photographer Eduardo Arana for capturing the truth of our poets. Follow him on Instagram here!

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Know More: World AIDS Day Event

On Thursday, December 4, the poets of Movement 515 collaborated with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Polk County Health Department, The Project – Primary Healthcare, BeUnleashed (Words Taylor) and HIV+AIDS advocate Brandon K. Griewank to host a World AIDS Day event at the Des Moines Social Club. Huge shout-out to Eduardo Arana for capturing the event. (Psssst…follow him on Instagram here!)

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Watercolor Poetry by Jamie Malone

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Huge shout-out to Jamie Malone for her incredible artistry from last week’s Share the Mic event. Follow her on twitter here and Instagram here!


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