Founded on the belief that teenagers can and must speak for themselves, Urban Word NYC™ (UW) has been at the forefront of the youth spoken word, poetry and hip-hop movements in New York City since 1999. Urban Word NYC presents literary arts education and youth development programs in the areas of creative writing, journalism, college prep, literature and hip-hop. UW provides FREE, safe and uncensored writing workshops to teens year round, and hosts the Annual NYC Teen Poetry Slam, NY Knicks Poetry Slam, local and national youth slams, festivals, reading series, open mics, and more. UW works directly with 15,000 teens per year in New York City alone, and as a steering committee member of the National Youth Spoken Word Coalition, has partner programs in 45 cities. UW also has a vigorous community educator and teacher training series which links inquiry-based classroom practices with the most progressive academic trends in student-centered pedagogy.
Urban Word NYC believes that free self-expression – matured in an enhanced critical literacy environment – improves selfconfidence and strengthens educational achievement for NYC’s inner city youth. We promote active literacy, critical thought, and positive social dialogue across boundaries of age, race, class, gender, culture, and sexuality. Our many workshops are designed to enhance critical thinking skills, leadership, and to ignite a personal commitment to growth and learning which leads to heightened inschool performance, and greater interest in pursuing higher education.