This year, the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is bringing Kinetic Affect out to keynote a morning plenary and run a breakoutsession at this year’s Annual Conference. Two men from a sordid past will be speaking on their true life experiences and be using their voices to help move men into a deeper state of awareness and vulnerability.
Kinetic Affect and Speak It Forward is honored to be a critical part of this year’s Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Annual Conference. Our keynote presentation on June 7 for all attendees is entitled “Personal Reflections on Male Identity, Social Change and the VAW Movement”. And our breakout session that same day will focus on the the use of our art form in personal transformation and the healing process, called “Innovation in Social Change: Empowering Youth Through Spoken Word Poetry”. It will be a true blessing to be a part of the conference this year, especially considering the pasts that we have each faced–as men in our society–and the work we do today
We would like to leave you with the words of one of our “failures.” Yes, it’s harsh to say “failure” and maybe that isn’t fully true. But when even just one woman caves in and loses sight of her true beauty, we feel the loss. Here is a story that tells you why we, Gabriel and Kirk, fight so hard for women:
“Not every story has a happy ending. And I wish I could say her’s was. She stood on the stage and held her poem in her hands. Standing at the mic, she began to speak. She said five simple words, “This is for my son.” She was 16. And her son was being held by a staff member off to the side. See, she was still in lock up. And her son had made a special trip across the state to hear his mommy share this poem she wrote for him. She wanted to apologize to this little blonde-haired boy for how she had given up on herself when he needed her the most. She apologized for her temper. For her anger. She apologized for the time she was arrested right in front of him. She described the way she saw him crying as she was held there by the police on the concrete in the middle of the street. It was the day she traded in holding onto his hand for grabbing onto steel bars.
(To learn more about the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, please visit their website here: http://www.mcadsv.org. OR… visit their Facebook page here: http://www.mcadsv.org.)
When I was in 7th grade, my teacher, Mrs. Roberts, received a grant to have Kinetic Affect come into our classroom to help us write spoken word poetry. Kinetic Affect was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. It inspired me to start working on poetry to get my mind off other things happening in my life. Until this day I still write poetry because of how big an impact working with Kinetic Affect had on me. It helped me get things out that I had kept bottled in for so long about school and how I really felt about my grades. I can honestly say that I really wish everyone could get the chance to work with them. I think they’d inspire so many more than me. Thank you Kinetic Affect for giving me the opportunity to work with you and thank you for inspiring me to express how I feel through my spoken word poetry.Mason Holmes, 9th Grade, Battle Creek