Our world is changing.
Voices of Wisdom & Modern Mythology offers a bridge
between the youth and the teachings of elders rooted in timeless wisdom while supporting the process of creative expression and helping restore a connection to community.
As we face the current challenge of diminishing in-person community and healthy social connection, we recognize that youth growing up today are especially vulnerable to toxic virtual landscapes. Educators may find it difficult to engage youth and maintain interest and attention through virtual classrooms, in a social-media environment of high-speed information and screen-time overload.
We live in the age of information where wisdom is hardest to find. It isn’t a lack of information, it is overwhelm to the point where we have no understanding of what is important. We are aiming to restore a connection between the youth and wisdom of the elders, by first meeting them where they are and offering guidance for ways of restoring connection within oneself, one’s environment and one’s community.
Voices of Wisdom & Modern Mythology meets the youth where they are, offering impactful engaging audio / visual / storytelling pieces that can spark interest for a new learning experience. We utilize modern music and video (primarily of the Hip-Hop genre) as a dynamic poetic form to introduce a particular topic / idea to be further explored. This modern mythology / storytelling piece (music video) can be followed by a corresponding sequence of elder wisdom (5-10 minutes) that provides an expanded and holistic view on the topic.
We intend to cover a range of themes such as environmental education, human-rights awareness, social responsibility and the life-affirming values of healthy community. These introduction videos are meant to spark interest for a community talking circle with space held by facilitators / mentors with questions and prompts that engage personal reflection and be applicable to student's lives.
From there, we can move into grounding exercises, workshops in various forms of creativity and self-expression and a community showcase, depending on the number of sessions. Learn more about our program's 6-Step Engaged Learning Approach
The program is adaptable to be delivered in a simplified or expanded form, carried out in a 3-day series of sessions or 4-weeks or more.
6 AREAS OF NEED ADDRESSED & SOLUTIONS
1. Limited opportunities for connection to elder wisdom and cultural teachings for youth in our community in a safe, supportive environment.
Solution: Offering a bridge to elder teachings presented in a way that is relevant to the youth in our community / demographic and providing talking circles and open sharing sessions, based in a culture of equality and respect. sharing and receiving healthy recognition, in a healthy community setting, that nourishes inner-worth.
2. Increasing screen-time as primary mode of communication and social-connection causing increasing anxiety, mental health issues and stimulus-addiction, which is often rooted in a deeper trauma-response.
Solution: Providing practical tools to slow down and shift into a more relaxed, receptive state, to feel connected within one’s body, one’s place in the environment and developing overall awareness. Guided breathing practices, sound-healing, meditation / visualization can be facilitated in-person or virtually and if the situation permits, we will facilitate nature-connection experiences.
3. Influence of the entertainment industry that is designed to turn youth in our community into consumers (rather than Creators), with the heavy influence of socially-toxic themes, fantasy escapism and messages that are degrading to the well-being of youth in our community.
Solution: Introducing youth to independent musicians and Hip-hop artists that offer conscious, empowering messages and model a way of being that is a healthy alternative to the mainstream narrative.
5. Growing up into the rapid-paced ‘age of information’, where answers can be ‘googled’, youth are underdeveloped in right-brain activity, creativity and intuition.
Solution: Facilitating an experiential learning process that supports intuitive creativity and inner-reflection (such as 'stream of consciousness writing' exercises) supporting meaningful personal connection to their work while developing discernment between one’s personal truth and external influences.
5. Standardized education models are often based in the approach to 'fill an empty vessel with information' with the outdated idea that valuable members of society = cogs in the machine.
Solution: A supportive process of awakening the genius that is already within the next generation of leaders and visionaries with the ability to create solutions to the problems we face as humanity.
6. Limited opportunities for meaningful preparation for creative career opportunities in the workplace, especially with the increase of businesses transitioning to operate from digital platforms.
Solution: Development of technical abilities in music production, video production and other creative skills in the digital medium (with an increasing need in the marketplace) along with supporting self-directed goal-setting to develop the discipline (with guidance from mentors) to see a project through to completion and build self-confidence.
DOCUMENTARY / MUSIC VIDEO EXAMPLES OF 7VISION
Below is the first 15 minutes of the 7G Wisdomkeeper documentary that will be utilized for this program. It is followed by a video reel and more work of local-Portland video-production studio 7VISION, directed by Quincy Davis, who will be producing the music videos and documentary segments for this program.
WE ARE CREATING BRIDGES BETWEEN:
VOICES OF WISDOM
Original documentary series featuring Wisdomkeepers from different parts of the world, primarily indigenous elders from Turtle-Island (First-Nation North America) and Africa, with a focus on environmental awareness and community healing.
Virtual workshops utilizing our engaging content to introduce a particular theme and topic to high school and middle school students, leading into community talking circles to explore practical solutions and workshops to support creative expression featuring our roster of guest artists.
GUEST ARTISTS / EDUCATORS
Our guest artists / educators come from diverse backgrounds, with unique stories, who share a commitment to utilizing the power of music & art to uplift our people & our communities.
This project intends to serve youth aged 14-21 in Multnomah County, with an emphasis on under-served indigenous, Black and Latinx youth. We seek to serve those students who are less likely to thrive standardized educational settings, as well as youth who have experienced homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, mental health disability, learning differences, trauma, foster care/shelters and juvenile detention.
Hip-Hop is an art form originating from the creativity of disenfranchised inner-city youth of New York City in the 1970’s and many of the artists and educators of our program work with this genre for empowering lyrical expression.
Our team of artists and educators involved in the project come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and are able to meet the youth where they're at, with the ability to share their stories and experiences of finding a way to change their lives around.
We intend for the youth involved in this program to receive mentorship from positive role models, attain a newfound sense of self-empowerment and building self-worth as well as provide tools to transform negative energy of hardship or traumatic into positive forms of creative expression.
Keys Beats Bars, NAAME, ReWild Portland, Ascending Flow, The Earth & Spirit Council, Essential Food & Medicine (EFAM), Cypher CURE, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, Above The Fray
To help this program get off the ground, contributions of any amount can be accepted through our 501c3 non-profit partner for tax write-off purposes. Please indicate "VOICES OF WISDOM" along with your donation. Thank you. For more information on donations will be used, please visit our donations page.