VOICES OF WISDOM WORKSHOP
Our world is changing. We are offering a new education model designed to bridge the teachings of elders with the youth. Our unique approach involves engaged learning experiences, talking circles and establishment of community culture, to support empowerment through creative expression.
This program is designed mainly for High-School and Middle-School aged students, ideally held in-person, with adaptability to be virtual. The time-frame of the program is adaptable and is often 3 to 5 sessions.
We are currently planning upcoming workshops in Oregon in collaboration with NAAME and Keys, Beats, Bars.
As we face the challenge of decreasing in-person community and embodied social connection, we recognize that youth growing up today are especially vulnerable to toxic virtual landscapes. Educators may find it difficult to engage youth and maintain interest and attention through virtual classrooms, in a social-media environment of high-speed information and screen-time overload.
We live in the age of information where wisdom is hardest to find. It isn’t a lack of information, it is overwhelm to the point where we have no understanding of what is important. We are aiming to restore a connection between the youth and wisdom of the elders, by first meeting them where they are and offering guidance for ways of restoring connection within oneself, one’s environment and one’s community.
Voices of Wisdom meets the youth where they are, offering impactful engaging audio / visual / storytelling pieces that can spark interest for a new learning experience. We utilize modern music and video (primarily of the Hip-Hop genre) as a dynamic poetic form to introduce a particular topic / idea to be further explored.
We are seeking to serve youth in our communities, aged 14-21, with an emphasis on under-served indigenous, Black and Latinx youth, and those students who are less likely to thrive standardized educational settings, as well as youth who have experienced homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health disability, learning differences, trauma, foster care/shelters and juvenile detention.
Hip-Hop is an art form originating from the creativity of disenfranchised inner-city youth of New York City in the 1970’s and many of the artists and educators of our program work with this genre for empowering lyrical expression.
Our roster of guest artists and educators come from diverse backgrounds and are able to meet the youth where they're at, with the ability to share their stories and experiences of finding a way to change their lives around.
We intend for the youth involved in this program to receive mentorship from positive role models, attain a newfound sense of self-empowerment and building self-worth as well as provide tools to transform negative energy of hardship or traumatic into positive forms of creative expression.
SIX AREAS OF NEED / SOLUTIONS
1. Limited opportunities for connection to elder wisdom and cultural teachings for youth in our community.
Solution: Offering a bridge to elder teachings presented in a way that is relevant to our demographic. We offer talking circles and open sharing sessions in a safe environment, based in a culture of equality and respect. This supports the sharing and receiving of healthy recognition, in a healthy community setting, that nourishes inner-worth.
2. Increasing screen-time as primary mode of communication and social-connection causing increasing anxiety, mental health issues and stimulus-addiction, which is often rooted in a deeper trauma-response.
Solution: Providing guided breathing practices, binaural audio meditation / visualization and/or nature-connection experiences, to support slowing down the mind, to shift into a more relaxed, receptive state, with sensory awareness. This can be an introduction to developing a daily practice of internal awareness.
3. Influence of an entertainment industry that pollutes the mind with fantasy, escapism and messages that are degrading to the well-being of youth in our community.
Solution: Introducing youth to independent musicians and Hip-hop artists from around the world, offering healthy, empowered, alternative perspectives to the entertainment industry status-quo, especially highlighting REBELWISE, an artist collective utilizing the power of music to uplift our people and our communities.
4. Growing up into the rapid-paced ‘age of information’, where answers can be ‘googled’, youth are underdeveloped in right-brain activity, creativity and intuition.
Solution: Facilitating an experiential learning process that supports intuitive creativity and inner-reflection (such as 'stream of consciousness writing' exercises) supporting meaningful personal connection to their work while developing discernment between one’s personal truth and external influences.
5. The foundation of standardized education models are based in false, often racist, narratives about history, and are designed to indoctrinate a post-colonial way of thinking and enforce obedience to create workers that serve the system.
Solution: A supportive process of awakening the genius and innate gifts that are already within, engaging with creativity and imagination to find solutions to the problems we face as humanity. As Einstein said: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
6. Limited career preparedness opportunities for developing practical skills in various digital storytelling forms, with an increasing need in the marketplace, as business are using more digital media.
Solution: Development of technical proficiency with mentorship in music production, video production and other creative skills. Self-directed goal-setting is meant to develop the discipline and self-confidence to see a project through to completion.
SIX-STEP ENGAGED LEARNING PROCESS
Modern mythology / storytelling piece (music video) meant to spark interest.
Corresponding sequence of elder wisdom (5-10 minutes) that provides an expanded and holistic view on the topic.
Talking circle, based in a culture of equality and shared community where everyone's voice matters.
Multi-sensory grounding experience, which may consist of a meditation / visualization exercise, sound resonant attunement, or nature-connection experience (if available in our environment).
Free-writing or workshops in various forms of creativity and self-expression and a community showcase, depending on the number of sessions.
Sharing or showcase with community support.
1. MODERN-MYTHOLOGY INTRO
Spark interest with a dynamic music-video or storytelling piece, as an engaging way to begin exploration of a particular theme.
Lyricism, performance and visual storytelling deliver messages in dynamic form, featuring Rebel Wise and other artists from around the world, especially highlighting Indigenous artist.
2. WISDOM KEEPER SEGMENT
Expanding on the theme with indigenous elder wisdom teachings, providing an integrated view of the subject.
Some of the main themes covered are environmental justice, exploring popular culture, deeper identity and purpose, finding meaning and a spiritual path, mental health, social responsibility and the values of healthy community.
Creating & setting the (Sacred) space with the talking circle.
Space held by facilitators, guest artist / mentors, providing questions and prompts.
Engage personal reflection and help to draw out ways of thinking about how the teachings presented could apply to our lives.
4. SENSORY / GROUNDING EXPERIENCE
Facilitating nature-based connection or leading students through a guided meditation and visualization exercise, with binaural music with Alpha or Theta waves, to boost relaxation and creativity.
This can be an introduction to developing a practice of internal awareness with healthy and practical tools that can be used on a daily-basis.
This is especially important to for youth dealing with hyperactivity of mental stimulation due to screen-time, technology addiction.
5. CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
Exploring creativity as a catalyst for positive self-expression and healing.
Encouraging the development of self-directed goal-setting, discipline and professional skill development that will be applicable to a career path while learning from professional mentors.
Areas of focus: poetry, Hip-Hop lyricism, songwriting, spoken-word performance, music-video and documentary video production.
6. COMMUNITY SHOWCASE
Providing opportunities for students to perform or showcase their work
Students will receive the positive feedback from the community which is an acknowledgement of their work and their voice.
Helping to affirm self-worth and self-belief, encouraging a commitment to ongoing skill-development, as they consider a career path and place in the world, ideally with a newfound sense of belonging, with purpose, as a valuable part of the community.
SEVEN VISION DYNAMIC MEDIA
Below are examples of the dynamic, original media that will be utilized in our program, produced by our partner, Seven Vision Studios. Below is the first 15 minutes of the Voices of the Wisdom Keepers documentary.
REBELWISE EDUCATIONAL MODULES
Our project partners will provide powerful music and opportunity for guest artist facilitators, who use lyricism as a way of conveying ideas in an engaging way. Below are the first three learning modules that can be facilitated by educators, exploring a significant theme.
Learn more about our featured artist collective, REBELWISE
If you would like to help us lay the groundwork for this, we'd greatly appreciate your support! Please visit our donations page.