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Poetic stickup: Put the financial aid in the bag - Carvens Lissaint


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TED Talk

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At TEDYouth 2011, performance artist Carvens Lissaint shows how to use language, metaphor and imagery to express a powerful idea -- as in this spoken word performance, a stirring plea to make college education more accessible.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Many artists and entertainers use their work to explore social justice. The TED library, for instance, contains some good examples of social activism through visual arts, poetry, music and comedy. These examples include: Maz Jobrani: Did you hear the one about the Iranian-American?  (comedy) Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats (visual arts) Jackson Browne : “If I Could Be Anywhere” (music) Taylor Mali: What teachers make (poetry) Choose a social issue that’s important to you and explore artistic treatments of it.  Create an exhibit that showcases the pieces you like the best, and share it with friends or family.  Which pieces do they find most powerful or provocative?  Carvens Lissaint has racked up a number of awards and honors at poetry slams across the country.  Find out more about poetry slams by attending one (see the Slam Map from Poetry Slam, Inc. at or simply Google “poetry slam” and your city or state).  If there are no poetry slams nearby, watch poetry slam videos on YouTube or consider starting one in your area.  Get advice from ( or Poetry Slam, Inc. ( 

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Carvens Lissaint

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