Here’s great news: Lifting Voices will be holding a special event January 15 at 6:30 pm at the Charles Sumner School Museum.
As a white abolitionist, the museum’s namesake, Civil War Senator Charles Sumner, worked hard to erase racial boundaries, even having his portrait painted with a freedman named Francis. Five generations later, that freedman is the ancestor of Lifting Voices trustee Suzette Francis. Ward 5 Council Member Harry Thomas will attend the event, as will staffers from the D.C. City Council, Congress, and the D.C. Superior Court.
Lifting Voices’ mission is to harness the power of words to improve communities. Lifting Voices was founded by a former intravenous drug addict who left a successful career to give back to her community. The organization serves people living in high-crime, high-poverty neighborhoods of D.C. It makes words work on both the grassroots level and the policy level.
On January 15, Lifting Voices will screen two short (5-minute) documentaries about its writing workshop and oral history programs. The event will feature guest speaker Gregory Williams, a convicted felon who found purpose in the written word. Since leaving prison, Mr. Williams has written three books (Brotherwood, Solomon’s Quest, and Inside the Belly of the Whale) based on his own life story. Word collages from the young authors in Lifting Voices’ writing workshops will be displayed at the event. Through the collages, guests will see the dynamic writing marginalized young people are capable of when they find their voices.
Lifitng Voices’ grassroots work is done through its writing workshops. In the workshops, Lifting Voices gives under-served youth a meaningful connection to words. These marginalized young people learn that the written word is a wondrous powerful thing, and that their voices matter.
Lifting Voices’ top-down work is done through its oral history program. In the oral history program, Lifting Voices gathers life stories from people living in fractured communities and shares them with decision makers. Decision makers get voices of experience. And those voices get a meaningful outlet for their knowledge.
For more information, please call Reba Elliott or Laura Gill at 202.338.1934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Basic information about the organization is online at www.liftingvoices.org.
We hope to see you there!