VOICES FOR CHANGE is a social justice initiative led by YWP writers and Community Leaders that builds leadership, collaboration and audiences for you to advocate for positive change through writing and art, spoken word and publication. Speak out on the issues of our times -- climate change, racial and gender equality, school safety, creating a just and equitable world. NOTE: Voices for Change wraps up the 2019-20 school year earlier than expected due to COVID-19. YWP's live events for Earth Day on April 22 at Burlington City Arts have been cancelled, but please celebrate Mother Earth on line with this writing challenge: CJP-Earth.



2019-20 WORKSHOPS, etc.
Climate Activism Workshop in preparation for Global Climate Strike
Led by YWP Community Leaders Hazel Civalier and Sophie Dauerman with VT Poet Lizzy Fox
  • Thursday, Sept. 19 Climate Workshop at Burlington City Arts
  • Friday, Sept. 20 at Global Climate Strike in Burlington
See the photos here

 Social Justice Writing Workshop and Open Mic with YWP's Narges Anzali and Becca Orten! Thursday, Oct. 24 at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St., Burlington. See the photos.

Gallery Walk at Burlington City Arts with YWP. Friday, Feb. 21. Apocalypse Diet: What will we eat? Guest curated by interdisciplinary artist Stella Marrs, Apocalypse Diet: What Will We Eat? investigates food systems—the processes and infrastructure required to feed a population—in light of imminent ecological crisis. Featured artists include Jane Adams, Suzanne Anker, Andrea Haenggi, Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco, Li Sumpter, and Candace Thompson who work in a range of media including installation, performance, video, participatory social events, and interventions. Apocalypse Diet seeks to reveal the critical importance of rethinking our relationship to food production and food culture as we navigate an uncertain future.
Celebrate Mother Earth on April 22 with this writing challenge: CJP-Earth!
Voices for Change is led by the young writers and artists of Young Writers Project. ALL ARE WELCOME! Topics for workshops/open mic nights will be inspired by the social justice activism of our times, including speaking out about climate change, immigration, racial equity, gender equity, school safety, and more. The more voices the better! Do you want to lead or co-lead a workshop? What about being our staff photographer? Share your energy and ideas with us! 

Leadership opportunities include:
  • Planning and hosting spoken word events and writing workshops
  • Creating writing challenges on issues that matter to you and sending them out to the wider YWP community -- about 4,500 active users on youngwritersproject.org!
  • Participating in youth and school conferences, marches, and community gatherings on social justice and climate change themes
  • Advising Young Writers Project on ways to showcase young people's voices, art & culture
  • Helping to raise awareness, tolerance and understanding in the YWP community and beyond
  • Reaching out and collaborating with new partners - youth groups, schools, local nonprofits, other students - to share this work

Want to get started? Contact Susan Reid, YWP Executive Director, [email protected]; (802) 324-9538
Young Writers Project offers multiple opportunities for publication with authentic media. The writing and art that flows from Voices for Change is published in Vermont newspapers, on VtDigger.org, and on YWP's website, youngwritersproject.org; in monthly digital magazine, The Voice; and annual Anthology.  

Check out these Voices for Change pieces that have been published by YWP and our media partners:
Voices for Change began with a founding grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art with support from The Bay and Paul Foundations, Physician's Computer Company, the Amy E. Tarrant Foundation, and the Rowland Foundation. To help sustain this program and for more information, please contact Susan Reid, YWP Executive Director, [email protected]; (802) 324-9538.

This project was inspired by the work and leadership of four amazing teenagers -- Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, Balkisa Omar, and Kiran Waqar -- who came together in 2016 to form Muslim Girls Making Change (MGMC), the award-winning slam poetry group who started with Young Writers Project in 2016 and who went on receive the 2018 National Education Association SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award for promoting human and civil rights and the 2018 Ed Everts Social Justice Activist Award from Vermont's Peace & Justice Center.

Hawa, Lena, Balkisa and Kiran were students at two different high schools in the Burlington area, but they attended the same mosque and they shared an urgent calling to speak out about their lives as young Muslim women in a fraught, post 9/11 world. One night, they came to a Young Writers Project open mic and performed Wake Up, America! It was an incredibly powerful performance -- and they were launched!

YWP coached them and aided their passage to the Brave New Voices slam poetry competition in Washington, DC in the summer of 2016. Upon their return, their reputation as a powerhouse slam poetry group grew, along with requests for performances across Vermont and the US, national media attention, and civil rights awards. They all went off to college in 2018, but their inspiration lives on at Young Writers Project with Voices for Change!

Find out more about Muslim Girls Making Change: 
Some of the Voices for Change workshops and open mic events presented by YWP's youth leaders:
Susan Reid, YWP Executive Director, [email protected]; (802) 324-9538
Young Writers Project is located at 47 Maple Street, Suite 216, Burlington, VT 05401