Poet - Performer - Educator - Motivator

As a spoken word artist, educator, and motivational speaker, I have learned that anyone can draw strength and wisdom from their own personal narrative given the proper training.  With over a decade of work in youth and performing spaces, I have been drawn towards multiple professional roles developing young people.  I believe in the power of stories and the sharing of lived experience as tools for community building, connectivity, and change.

As the former co-founder and Program Manager of poetryN.O.W., a creative writing program for students in the DC metro area, I crafted an extensive creative writing curriculum now used in classrooms throughout the country. After five years of successful programming, I brought poetryN.O.W. to its new home at Split This Rock, a Washington DC based poetry and social justice organization. As Youth Programs Coordinator at Split This Rock, I supervise youth programs in over 25 high schools and train other facilitators to lead writing workshops for students K-12.

Using the models of popular education and experiential learning, I also facilitate interactive workshops with high school students where they create transformational original poems and short stories on the personal effects of substance abuse and addiction. I kicked off my professional experience in substance abuse prevention as a Program Manager at the Mentor Foundation USA. I led the Foundation’s effort to revamp Shattering the Myths, an interactive leadership training program that removes the stigma around substance use disorder and mobilizes youth ambassadors to connect their community members to recovery resources. As a result of these experiences, I have been fortunate to gain opportunities for student poets to share their stories with policy makers at the White House for the US Office of National Drug Control Policy and the US Department of Education.

In addition to my extensive leadership development work, I have been a solo performer for 15 years. I attended PSI’s National Poetry Slam five times on teams from three different cities.  As a representative of DC’s Beltway Poetry Slam Team I ranked 16th at the Individual World Poetry Slam.  After years of international performing, I’ve synthesized my poetry, workshops, and mentorship into interactive performance experiences that can be customized for a range of audiences and ages. I am excited to continue driving both youth and adults towards self-forgiveness, redemption, and the irreplaceable role of love in the human revolution.

See more of Joseph’s poetry 

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