Pacific Tongues Interscholastic Slam Poetry Festival 2017
This year Pacific Tongues Youth Speaks Hawai'i celebrates 12 years of being a non-profit organization. Our mission has always been to provide a safe and central location in the Hawaiian Islands to facilitate a cross-cultural exchange within Pacific influenced populations through spoken arts education. As we embark on going onto our 12th year we have reflected and seek to grow/improve. We have been successful in empowering youth voices in the Pacific but we recognize that our work as an organization must go beyond the words our poets share. Our goal in improving has been to indigenize all aspect of what a 'poetry slam' can and should be for youth in the Pacific. For youth to be able to explore their identities, their stories, their roles as voices in the Pacific and what that means on various levels. From the land we share our stories on to the food we put into our bodies, we hope that our youth can have an elevated understanding of their roles as people in the Pacific through our collaboration with the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Much of the Pacific Tongues community is embedded with the UH manoa system, from faculty to alumni and even current undergraduate and graduate level students. Our three day festival goal is to allow students to work in the Lo'i, to attend artistic workshops from Pacific artists and scholars, and to give them a larger platform to have their voices heard.