BALTIMORE - The NAACP and Starbucks have partnered to launch the One Nation Spoken Word Showcase Tour, a youth empowerment tour that will travel to Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston and Washington DC. In each city, the tour will bring a number of activities for young people to get involved, including empowerment seminars at local high schools and colleges, with a focus on positive self development and human rights using a fusion of poetry, the spoken word, theater, hip hop music and culture; youth-led community service projects; and a spoken word showcase featuring local youth talent. In most cities, the spoken word showcase will be held in a local Starbucks store, underscoring the NAACP’s and Starbucks’ commitment to the community.
This tour reflects the commitment of the NAACP to invest in youth leadership development in the area of civil rights, including youth development, community service and empowerment, civic engagement, and cultural awareness. In addition, this tour is a membership and voter engagement initiative for the NAACP Youth and College Division.
“The NAACP is proud to be working with Starbucks to showcase the creative gifts, talents, consciousness and social justice fervor of young people,” stated Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO. “One Nation Working Together is about all people, regardless of age, religion, political affiliation or race working together to pull this nation back together. The NAACP supports the efforts and hard work of young people who are committed to helping attain a better tomorrow for all people,” concluded Jealous.
“The purpose of these events is to help young people give creative voice to their feelings on issues that are occurring in their communities. During the Harlem Renaissance, spoken word was used as a form of verbal expression in communities of color to speak out against the injustices and inequalities plaguing the nation. Today, it is inspiring to see young people use the same verbal expression –the spoken word – to share their concerns and hopes for a nation still plagued with injustices and inequalities” stated Stefanie Brown, NAACP National Field Director and Director of Youth and College Division.
“Our stores play a critical role as a place where the community gathers to share ideas,” said Cliff Burrows, president, Starbucks Coffee US. “We believe that by supporting the voice and positive actions of young people, we can work together to help make real change in local communities. Starbucks appreciates the opportunity to work with the NAACP and a group of talented artists to bring this experience to a broad range of our customers in key markets.”
One Nation Spoken Word Showcase Tour 2010
• September 11th Chicago, IL • October 9th Los Angeles, CA
• September 18th New York, NY • October 23rd Houston, TX
• September 25th Atlanta, GA • October 30th Washington, DC
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.