Arts As Activism

Artist: Summer Dawn

Type: Professional Learning

Program Availability: In-Person, Virtual

  • Poetry as Activism
  • Poetry as Activism


In this professional learning program, teachers will be introduced to the art and techniques of activist poetry.  Participants experience a process that takes them from exploring a social issue they care about, to writing and performing a creative work inspired by that issue. Writing techniques, literary devices and historical events, will illuminate opportunities for teachers to connect to their own lived experiences and passion. This creative process can be used by teachers to help them better understanding the social issues impacting their students. SEL core competencies of perspective taking, empathy, respecting diversity, understanding societal norms and recognizing community supports will be central to the creative process, while also laying foundations for responsible decision making and relationship skills.


Virtual or In-Person (In Person only in Jersey City, Newark, Paterson area)

Recommended Participants

  • Teachers
  • Arts Specialists

Learning Intentions

Educators will:

  • Experience the work of activist poets, writer, and artist.
  • Engage with different writing techniques, literary devices, and expressive communication.
  • Make connections to historical events.
  • Create and assess original poetry and or creative expressions.
  • Reflect and provide meaningful feedback.
  • Discuss the identified social issues and artistic merit of arts as activism.
  • Lead others in identifying writing techniques or literary devices used in each creative expression.

YA Connections

  • NJSLS-VPA: Artistic Process; Creating; Anchor Standard 1: Conceptualizing & Generating Ideas
  • Artistic Process; Responding;
  • Anchor Standard 7: Perceiving and Analyzing Products
  • Artistic Process: Connecting;
  • Anchor Standard 11: Relating artistic ideas and works within societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Cultural Responsive Practice

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

  • Standard 3: Equity & Culture
  • Standard 4: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Price & Info


Workshop Cost per Day: $1400

Additional Fees: In-Person Program Travel Fee - $95 per day; Virtual Program Technology Fee - $45; (On-Demand programs are not charged travel or tech fees)


Audience Limit: 25

Program Length: (1) 90-min Session (Additional time available at $300/hour)

Workshop Minimum # of Days: 1

Appropriate For Grade(s): 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

Creative Writing


SEL: Social Emotional Learning