To: Green Earth Poets Cafe Board of Directors
Re: July 18, 2015 Rikers Island Prison Poetry performance
It gives me great pleasure to report to you the results of “No more silent voices” poetry program today at Rikers Island. 17 artists and poets shared their gifts of poetry, comedy, spoken word and music with the inmates of the GRVC facility at Rikers Island. We got off to a slow start , but after everyone arrived we had 17 artists ready and willing to perform. The program was run by program director Quindell Quev Evans who opened , followed by Cellist extraordinaire Sonia Choi with guitarist Johnny Sansone. Unfortunately the other guitarist Randy Class who came to perform lost his ID before coming to the prison this very morning, so he was unable to enter the prison. I wish to especially recognize Randy’s effort and hope he will return to Rikers with us in the future. I wish to thank Green Earth Poets Phoenix Poetically Inclined Reign for her passion, gift of poetry and power. Thank you Allahsha Skipper aka Poetry Queen for your dedication and poetic gift. Taneeka Lanay Wilder is such a humble spirit filled poet and artist whose presence always brings a peace which passes all understanding. Today we celebrated our one year anniversary of poetry performances at Rikers Island. It all started July 2014 and we we fortunate to have one of the finest artists, who came with us in the first group in July 2014. We give a special thank you to Melech Distinguish Meir. We also thank and welcome a number of artist who came with Green Earth Poets Cafe to Rikers Island for the first time. We thank the phenomenal Dave D’Vision who had the incarcerated figuratively speak to their 12 year old self and speak words which will help that child thrive and survive. We also welcome new comers Nicholas Nichols, Nushepsura Jones (18 yrs old) ,and Nyah Lastra. Nyah is someone to watch out for, this lady amazed the inmates with her recitation of poetry, simply amazing. We also welcomed new comer Nicole Najmah Abraham whose eloquence, poetic fervor ,and style is nothing short of amazing. I would be remiss if I did not thank and recognize the gift of some of the veterans who have graced our Rikers stage and consistently give back to these young people who happen to be incarcerated. Among these vets are Adrian Elias, his sister Mela Elias, the comedy of Mutiya S-Vision, whose comedy gets better and better and funnier and funnier. I also thank Green Earths Poet Author Press whose flute playing is just as great as his poetry. Today he demonstrated both. Today we also paused for 20 second to honor young Kalief Browder, the young man who committed suicide because of his experience at Rikers Island. Today we believed we reached some of the young men and hopefully encouraged and inspired them to make better choices with their lives and to remind them they are loved. Lastly a few of the inmates were inspired to join us spitting a few bars, or singing a song or two. One young man in particular spoke of suicide before he performed a spoken word piece which was simply amazing. His speech alarmed a few of our artists who took the time to specifically focus their attention on him. Thank you Dave for your leadership. I hope we reached him also.
Green Earth Poets Cafe.
ccJeri Baskerville, Zulma Rodriguez, Tina Callender, Genesis Valdez, Diane McNeil, Sharon Wedderburn, Curtis Harris, Cindy Harris.