One of the foundational activities of our programs is the “I Am” Poem. It is an opportunity, when we first come together, to introduce ourselves through a creative, poetic lens; it allows for us to express the difficult, contradictory and paradoxical aspects of our selves; and it is through all these elements—our whole selves—that something beautiful is brought forth.
Through our circles and through our dialogues, we are able to cultivate a space in which youth feel comfortable being vulnerable and open. Moreover, we are able to critique and reimagine the narratives and identities that we’ve brought with us to the circle.
By the end of the week of summer camp, our youth and staff had re-imagined their “I Am” poems. Below is a sampling of what they created.