Hear these young voices speaking messages of frustration and hope

Hear these young voices speaking messages of frustration and hope

Jul 2nd 2020

Every year, our tutors work with the American Conservatory Theater to help  Downtown High School students write and perform monologues and short plays. This year, our students chose to focus on the ways discrimination presents in schools, and ways to address it. Writers discuss "tracking," a practice in which students are segregated according to aptitude levels or test scores, and the inequality in support that results. Writers also investigate how teachers use subtle weapons like authority, vocabulary, and tone to elevate some students and keep others back. Tracked and Targeted is full of rage, hope, and energy towards a more just future.

Freedom to Live Without Fear is the latest volume of the Young Authors' Book Project. A class of 12th graders from Mission High School read The Battle of and for the Black Face Boy by Nikky Finney, then spoke with Ms. Finney about truth, freedom, and the strength to move forward in a world that often holds them back.

Students wrote poems, letters, and personal stories about "what keeps you moving, stepping forward, inventing whatever is next to invent, constructing, fashioning iron chains into wings, continuing to fold and shape a future that has been kept from you, regardless of the brutality that still chases you."

It is our mission to empower and amplify the voices of under-resourced children in San Francisco. In practice, this means that our mission is to empower Black and brown students, LGBTQ students, and other students our system marginalizes. Our students are speaking.