National Youth Event, July 10-13, 2012, Purdue University
Climbing PoeTree - Workshop Presenters and Performing Artists

Thursday, July 12 – Imagine a World Where Differences Are Embraced

Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul-sisters who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. With roots in Haiti and Colombia, Alixa and Naima reside in Brooklyn and track footprints across the country and globe on a mission to make a better future visible, immediate, and irresistible. They will share their gifts as workshop presenters and performing artists at NYE.

Soul-stirring and heart-opening, the poetry Alixa and Naima deliver challenges its listeners to remember their humanity, dissolves apathy with hope, exposes injustice, and helps heal our inner trauma so that we may begin to cope with the issues facing our communities.

In the last 8 years, Alixa and Naima have been workshop facilitators and guest artists at hundreds of youth programs, conferences, correctional facilities, high schools and colleges - from Cornell University to Rikers Island Academy. They have painted murals on walls from the Bronx to Santiago de Cuba. And they have rocked over 500 mikes in more than 75 cities from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, alongside visionary leaders and artists such as Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Jean Grae, Vandana Shiva, Angela Davis, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Danny Glover, The Last Poets, and Dead Prez.

Alixa and Naima have traveled over 10,000 miles with an all-women crew in a recycled vegetable oil-powered bus, delivering their latest production, Hurricane Season: the hidden messages in water, to over 9,000 people across the nation, and featuring 150 community-based organizations. They are currently translating this award-winning production into a multi-media curriculum that employs art and culture to help learners analyze systems of oppression and resistance, and uses a popular education model to build new leadership essential for fundamental social change.

With flawless cadence and impeccable lyricism, these soul-sisters weave together their voices to draw vital connections between shared struggles and common solutions in a critical moment in human history. Both tragic and triumphant, the poetry Alixa and Naima deliver challenges its listeners to acknowledge their own humanity, dissolves apathy with hope, and helps heal the inner trauma so that we as people may begin to cope with issues facing our communities.

Climbing PoeTree Official Website

Climbing PoeTree Live Performance

Contact: Waltrina Middleton, Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation, at middletonw@ucc.org or 216-736-3871