Louder than a bomb Florida 2016
By Aimee Adler
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (UWBCCSA) is proud to announce that it has partnered with the Jason Taylor Foundation to support Louder Than A Bomb Florida 2016 (LTABFLA) presented by Nova Southeastern University. LTAB Florida utilizes the art of spoken word to help provide teens from diverse backgrounds with a common vehicle for written and performance-based self-expression, empowering and uniting both the youth and their respective communities.
With the partnership, United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse, along with its major funder Broward Behavioral Health Coalition (BBHC), have joined the football hero’s efforts to enrich the lives of young artists through this innovative pro-gram and provides United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse with an opportunity to engage directly with teens in the community and communicate its message to help prevent sub-stance abuse and build healthier communities.
LTABFLA provides a forum where United Way of Broward County Commission on Sub-stance Abuse will have a captive audience to promote its youth advocacy programs such as its Broward Youth Coalition (BYC). BYC is a group of young leaders who work to become youth advocates for substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion in their communities. BYC Members are trained to lead youth coalitions and participate in drug education workshops. BYC chapters work throughout the year to develop anti-drug and mental health promotion campaigns that are then carried out by the members in their school or com-munity. Other United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse youth oriented initiatives include Alternative Spring Break (March 21st-25th) and the Youth Leadership Institute taking place this summer.
“We are so pleased to partner with the Jason Taylor Foundation to help bring Louder Than A Bomb Florida to the youth in our community,” said Maria Hernandez, Vice President of Program Operations at United Way of Broward County. “The partnership provides us with a fantastic forum where we can communicate to the youth in our community the risks of underage drinking and substance use/abuse, how to avoid peer pressure and how to advocate for healthier communities.”
Dubbed the “Super Bowl of poetry,” Louder Than a Bomb Florida features a friendly spoken-word competition between school-based poetry teams representing local high schools from Broward County, Miami-Dade and beyond. The apex of Louder Than a Bomb Florida is a 12-day festival from April 5th through April 16th, 2016, featuring poetry bouts, workshops, exhibits, and ultimately the crowning of Florida’s top youth poetry team. LTABFLA inverts the traditional educational paradigm by asking students what THEY think, see and experience in their worlds, often re-engaging students at schools, while still meeting common core standards. LTABFLA also provides students with a platform for their voices to be heard. These students realize the strength they possess and are validated through the stories they tell and experiences they share.
“We created the bluapple Poetry Network and Louder Than A Bomb Florida so that each of the young people we serve would have a platform to share their stories and establish their voice,” said Jason Taylor. “This very important partnership with United Way of Broward County’s Commission on Substance Abuse is further validation that their voices are being heard. We look forward to doing great work together.”
Other events leading up the main LTABFLA bouts include the bluapple Poetry Network Poetry and Leadership Conference Presented by United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse and Louder Than A Bomb Town Hall Presented by United Way of Broward County. The Poetry and Leadership Conference is a convening of LTABFLA participants and students involved in the Jason Taylor Foundation’s Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network. Young poets will experience an entire day of writing/performance workshops and have the opportunity to connect with students in a supportive and non-competitive environment. Occurring in the midst of the 12-day LTABFLA festival, the Town Hall meeting is an opportunity for community stakeholders – students, parents, educators, community activists, etc. – to have meaningful dialogue about important issues that affect the youth and society at large.
For more information about Louder Than a Bomb Florida, please visit www.jasontaylorfoundation.com. For more information about United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse, please visit www.drugfreebroward.org.