York Region youth to engage in Poetry slam

By Jasminee Sahoye.
He is dubbed as the Godfather of Canada’s spoken word scene; taking poetry to a different level.

Now, Dwayne Morgan is creating Ontario’s first youth poetry slam league, having introduced Toronto to its first poetry slam in 1998.

He is partnering with York Region District School Board and 23 schools across the Board to organize a competition that will crown the Board’s elementary and secondary school champions.Board-wide poetry slams have existed for a few years now, south of the border, according to Morgan. He was invited to be the guest speaker at the finals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin back in 2011. It was there, witnessing the excitement and brilliance of these young people that Morgan began brainstorming how to duplicate the idea back home.The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) was Morgan’s first target. “After a sit down with then Director, Chris Spence, the idea was embraced and the wheels were set in motion,” he said in a statement. With the resignation of Spence, Morgan’s initiative was shelved, but a year later the York Region District School Board has taken the idea and running with it.“I started my career as a teen, and know what this kind of opportunity can mean for young people,” says Morgan, who has been working tirelessly to pull this initiative together.

The 23 schools from across the Board will compete against each other during February 21-24 to determine which seven schools will advance to the finals on April 22.
“This is just the beginning,” says Morgan. “I want all of the GTA’s school giving this opportunity and outlet to their students”.Morgan who was born to parents from Jamaica was last year inducted into the Scarborough Hall of Fame for his contributions to the Arts and Culture.