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.)
“Willard Library’s 6th Annual Poetry Slam had the added bonus to have professional speakers and poets Kinetic Affect come in and display their expertise in performance! Their performances were dramatic, powerful, and provided content that everyone in the audience could relate to, especially the students. Kirk’s background in teaching along with his passion for poetry really shined through during the workshop, while Gabe’s suggestions to the performers-in-training were sensitive, honest and spot on. The time Kirk and Gabe took to spend with our young people will leave a long lasting impact on our children. On a side note, one of the kids who did not win the poetry slam competition, jokingly told me that with Kinetic Affect’s help, his performance got him a girlfriend out of the deal.”Stephanie Boyd, Children/Teen Service Librarian Coordinator of Poetry Slam Willard Public Library