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In 2018 Action Education was successful in it's application to the Mental Health Foundation and the Like Minds, Like Mine project to produce a series of web videos by and for young people on the topic of mental health.
The campaign, Busting Myths, reached over 295,000 people in New Zealand and the videos were shared over 1,200 times.
Content was written and performed by young people about their own experiences from what it means to be a man, cultural identity, childhood traumas, anxiety, Māori displacement, school pressures and more.
A huge mihi to the Mental Health Foundation and the Like Minds, Like Mine project for supporting this kaupapa and allowing these young poets to share their truth so that others experiencing similar challenges know they aren't alone, and are able to learn about resources they can access if they need help.
“Little red monster found home in my cranium, seems to be renting a space in my amygdala – I’m pretty sure his prior residence used to be under my bed.”
Sometimes our thoughts can get on top of us. If your thoughts are worrying you, please reach out and talk to someone: You are not alone. Reach out to friends, whānau or a helpline. We’ve got you.
"Our boys are not broken, but damn – how we teach them to break.”
In this powerful piece Fili and Noah question what it means to be ‘a man’. No matter what you’ve been told, you are enough. Your personal strength does not come from holding things back, it comes from reaching out.
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This year marked the 10th Anniversary of The South Auckland Poets Collective (SAPC). The members of SAPC are the coaches, mentors and facilitators of our programmes. It is a difficult thing to discern where SAPC ends and Action Education begins, both bodies are inextricably linked and are symbiotic in nature.
We give huge thanks to Auckland City Libraries who this year have archived our works and supported us to celebrate this in style. This included a heritage talk, a 3-night show directed by Grace Taylor and supported by Creative New Zealand and an exhibition as part of the Auckland Arts Festival at the Mangere Arts Centre.
Action Education and SAPC have woven a rich history together over the last decade and have had a huge impact on the communities and young people we have worked with, this became increasingly clear as the anniversary came together.
10 years ago Youth Workers, poets and friends Ramon Narayan, Grace Taylor and Daren Kamali had an idea. Through poetry they had each experienced the ability to break down barriers and engage with young people, with spoken word they had stumbled onto a medium that would lead to one of the most powerful tools of youth engagement and self-expression in Aotearoa.
Over the years the kaupapa alignment of Action Education and SAPC has become clear, and as Ramon says, it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. The current members of the Collective are coaches, mentors and educators for all of Action Education’s current programmes.
SAPC is a creative home to nurture outstanding talents, who are then equipped to give back to the next generation of artists through Action Education.
The South Auckland Poets Collective paved the way for the possibility of Stand Up Poetry, WORD – The Front Line, and so many events and programmes that Action Education uses to provide pportunities for young people to develop and express their inherent creativity.
“South Auckland Poets Collective has grown the art of poetry slam, pedagogy and emerging and youth performers and writers in leaps and bounds over the last decade in New Zealand, especially from its humble beginnings in South Auckland,” says co-founder Daren Kamali who now works as a Senior Curator for Auckland Libraries.
“I want to acknowledge the role of Youthline and Action Education over the last 10 years for establishing 32 young poets and also being instrumental in working and keeping SAPC together with outreach work into our communities, nationwide and across the Tasman.”
The support of Auckland Libraries to record and celebrate 10 years of the South Auckland Poets Collective has been an incredible way to validate the impact this small group of committed artists and community organisers has had.
“Celebrating 10 years of South Auckland Poets Collective is celebrating contemporary oral storytelling known as spoken word poetry in Aotearoa,” says co-founder Grace Taylor.
“I am so proud of the ripple effects the Collective have had for both young people and the artform as a whole. The thing I am most proud of is empowerment of young people to tell their own stories.”