Briana Roberts, Zion Mclaren, Kanye, Aramis Rubio, Jasmine, Victor, Marlena Rodrigues
Abbie, Ana, Tara
David Ellison, a public defender in Fall River, will share his experiences working within the justice system. He provides legal representation and advocacy to indigent clients who are charged with criminal offenses within the final jurisdiction of the District Court of Massachusetts. He has a unique perspective on the justice system and its shortfalls from his position on the front lines, working to provide low-income defendants the best legal aid he possibly can.
James Monteiro grew up in the Mount Hope area of Providence. Like many kids from the neighborhood, James grew up without a father figure in the home and it wasn’t long before he dropped out of school, got caught up in crime, and ended up in and out of the prison system.
While incarcerated in Baltimore, Maryland’s penitentiary, James made a conscious decision to change his life. He worked through feelings of low self esteem, abandonment, neglect, and self-hate, and began to challenge the demons within himself that had held him back for so long. He documented his experience of transformation through a book of spoken word poetry called THE LOST CHILD, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. James will share excerpts from this book at the Youth Freedom Café and will discuss his experiences with the audience. James is currently spearheading the development of the Billy Taylor House, a program that is designed to give youth from the Mount Hope neighborhood workforce development and enrichment opportunities. The program will help provide youth with a sense of identity and pride and an awareness of their own potential.
About Youth Freedom Project by Everett:
Young artists from the community will create dance and theater pieces that explore the meaning of freedom in a country that incarcerates people at the highest rate in the world.
Everett artists will mentor the youth in their creative process. They will teach them to build work through research and a variety of theatrical techniques. Performances will be workshopped through multiple Open Stage and Youth Freedom Café events.
At the end of the year all of the performances will be joined together in a final Youth Freedom Project production.
This project is part of the Pell Humanities Initiative in Rhode Island to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Everett’s Youth Freedom Project is supported by a generous grant from Dance USA – Engaging Dance Audiences.