Spoken Word as a Reflection Tool
This groundbreaking workshop solves this dilemma by inspiring, fostering and promoting artistic expression of powerful cross-cultural experiences through the use of the spoken and written word. Designed for non-poets, Will combines writing activities that help develop strong figurative language, storytelling techniques and imagery with performance that focuses on delivery, voice, inflection and articulation, body movement and gestures, eye contact, expression of emotion, rhythm and cadence and conventions of theater and public speaking. Will places a large emphasis on helping participants “find their voice” by exploring identity, understanding the historical context and power of the oral tradition, and using poetry as a tool – not only for cross-cultural interaction – but also for therapy and healing community engagement, conflict resolution, and non-violent resistance. The program is designed to be relatable and relevant to youth and adults across the spectrum of race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexual orientation. It is ideal for anyone who has crossed cultures and is looking for a way to process and express the experience – for example: re-entry for study abroad, international students pursuing a degree abroad or preparing to return home, multicultural teams, repatriates, etc. You do not have to be a lyrical wizard to participate, create and reflect – we promise!
Storytelling: An Instrument of Peace
In this presentation, Will introductuces the concepts of peacebuilding and conflict and specifically how storytelling can be a strategic peace building tool. He reviews the origins of conflict and examines how we can define peace from different perspectives. Will considers the practice of courageous leadership and reminds us all how we can create impact in our communities – whether on college campuses or in our neighborhoods. You’ll be mesmorized by the stories he shares of his travels, the people he has met, and the opportunities for peace that occur when we humanize each other through revealing our truths through sharing our human experiences.
“Will’s workshop unlocked the special part of my right-brain that’s lain dormant for a number of years. How incredibly invigorating it was to see what I could produce artistically. Kane was very patient and encouraging and, not to mention, cool– I felt as if I was in a safe space and could connect with him.” – Danielle, USA
“Thank you very much for your presentations. The students and my colleagues loved them and are still talking about it!” – Professor, Methodist University
“What better medium to talk about us – our lives, our faults, our aspirations, our losses, our deepest problems – than poets who can see to the bottom and depth of everything, and make it an experience at the same time? We are blessed to have such magic in our midst.” – Ellie Kinnaird, North Carolina State Senator, 23rd District ,
“I really enjoyed this workshop. To be honest, beforehand, I felt a bit neutral about it since I don’t consider myself a poet. But I was very happy with the results. I felt it gives me another tool of self exploration, communication, and a way to express creativity while at the same time remembering and recording important moments. ” – Maria, Spain
is an award-winning spoken word poet, storyteller, educator, and journalist specializing in the intersection of conflict resolution and creative expression. Will hosts and produces Stories with a Heartbeat, a new podcast that explores the complexity of the human condition in conflict through poetry, stories, and conversation. In addition, Will helps with education reporting and produces the My Teacher Project. Will’s work has been featured in media outlets, at universities, and on stages across the US and around the world, including parts of Central America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. In recognition of his work utilizing poetry to confront Islamophobia, Will was recently selected as one of the top six emerging storytellers in America by the International Storytelling Center. Will has worked as a freelance reporter and producer for North Carolina Public Radio for the past five years and has reported from Egypt, Tunisia, the Palestinian West Bank, Jordan, Turkey, and domestically in the US. Will is a US State Department Program Fellow, a Beacon of Light Award-winner, a Southern Poetry Slam Champion, a National Poetry Slam Finalist, and a National Duo Slam Champion. Will drinks too much coffee and is always looking for more frequent flyer miles.