JDC to Host Law & Language Poetry Slam with SF High School Students

The slam will celebrate the ABA’s 2019 Law Day theme and kick off during National Poetry month

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In celebration of the American Bar Association’s 2019 Law Day theme—Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society—the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) will host a Law & Language Poetry Slam on May 9, 2019.

The idea of a slam emerged from JDC’s Diversity Director Samantha Akwei, who previously performed spoken word poetry in high school, helping her to develop and use her voice as a catalyst for change. Having won the Knicks Poetry Slam in 2005 and the Urban Word Slam in 2007, Akwei envisions the slam as an opportunity to hear from the next generation of young people, while raising their conscience about the importance of free speech and encouraging them to use their voices to make a difference.

The slam will kick off in April 2019 during National Poetry Month where the top 50 San Francisco High School poets will compete for a chance to win a monetary educational award. Poets must be 13-19 years old and attend a San Francisco Public High School to compete.

Each year, bar associations around the nation find fun and creative ways to highlight the annual ABA Law Day theme but to date a slam competition has never been done by JDC. The legal profession is very much a profession of language, so giving students the chance to express and present their ideas may be a great avenue to introduce them to the field.

For more details about this event and to get involved as a judge or donor, contact Samantha Akwei at sakwei@sfbar.org.