Kirk Latimer and Gabriel Giron have a little secret; they both founded a non-profit organization right in Kalamazoo. It’s called Speak It Forward Inc. and it’s already been doing work around the area to bring spoken word poetry and other uplifting educational experiences to those who need it the most.
Speak It Forward Inc. is Kirk and Gabriel’s manifestation of their true dreams. It is an organization aimed at reaching those who haven’t been reached before and using spoken word poetry and honest expression of experiences and emotion to evoke positive and life-long change. Already awarded several grants in Calhoun County, Speak It Forward is currently working with the Mylestone Project on Speaking Out, a program designed to transform the lives of troubled youths in the area. By making spoken word a viable and accessible art form, the artists become agents of change and transformation. In conjunction with the schools, juvenile system, parole officers, community activists and leaders and the families of these youths, Speaking Out is designed to promote personal growth with strong community support.
Speak It Forward has not yet had its official release, but 2010 brings in the chance to unveil the organization to the greater public. Keep your eye out for a new Speak It Forward website and some special projects it will be undertaking in the near future.