Listen to Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin, and Zariya Allen, members of the Get Lit organization, who are determined to change the world, one word at a time. In this performance of "Somewhere in America," they open for singer John Legend at the Hollywood Bowl. The poem calls to attention the kind of information passed along unintentionally in classrooms, and addresses some hard truths and dark topics based on personal experiences. ​"I think poetry is the best way to express emotions..." McGavin says, "It’s an amazing way to help people, especially teens."


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  • jinno etnarimla

    What was the topic of the speech act?

  • Lois Rosado

    This is so powerful. It needs to be heard in every school in America and repeated until change is made.

  • Michelle

    The truth that is spoken and the courage to speak it!! Excellent work brave hearts!

  • Lisa

    I teach. I encourage the tough discussions. I teach the curriculum where America isn't all that pretty. I face problems at work from other teachers who don't like being uncomfortable. It breaks my heart.

  • Dee Roye

    inspiring and courageous, thanks Dee Roye

  • Marlou Russell

    The truth of it. So powerful. Thank you.

  • Tami

    Incredibly powerful! Words have tremendous power-enough to kill. Thank you for this.

  • Fran

    I agree. There's so much hope in this powerful expression. Thank you for publicizing their work.

  • shelly

    These young women make a person feel hopeful that perhaps a miracle of higher thought and consciousness can actualize. Their intelligence and passion to break through the stupidity of the status quo which is long overdue is both admirable and impressive.

  • Gail Adrienne

    The spoken word is indeed powerful! And yes, gratitude and compassion are also important--but women and others who feel unempowered most often need to begin with a feeling that they are allowed to unleash their anger. Once that need is met, then they can move on towards more positive healing and positive actions. And what better way to unleash anger than through the spoken word?! A poem is such an amazing medium - and these young women use it so well...

  • Maria Budner

    The passion and the truth of it!!!!

  • Anya

    Their passion is inspirational...their anger fierce. What about the other side of the coin...gratitude for living in a country where they as young women are free to express themselves. A generation of anger will not heal a nation.

  • Diane Cunningham

    These wonderful young women need to be on the same stage as the candidates for President.....they need to speak to the churches that are blinded by rules and regulations and doctrines.....they need to be on CNN, MSNBC and Thank you

  • Jeannine

    Wow, I am so moved, so hopeful, to see these young women raising their voices and speaking truth to power!

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Love these young women using their voices to speak their heart and their truth!

  • Lei Bernola

    All of it-the passionate delivery the desperate plee for change especially the truth about history..not just what our mighty countries want us to know. Inspiring x thank you x

  • Sarah

    The girls' passion and their telling of the truth.

  • Patricia I. Charles

    The earnestness of the delivery and the truth of it all.

  • Carol whittaker

    Wow. I was a classroom teacher for decades and how true how true how true...silence does not mean agreement...we have forgotten what is important to teach to live and become a viable, active citizen with heads held high. Silence does not translate into consent...students of all ages can make a difference...let us teach children HOW to learn and put away some of those outdated syllabus that are held in high esteem simply because they are comfortable...not necessarily true.

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  • Find out more about Get Lit, an organization that uses classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy.
  • Project Voice is another program that uses spoken word to empower and improve literacy in classrooms and communities around the world.
  • Read a poem aloud today. Does that change the impact of the poem?

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