FLINT, Mich. - March 11, 2023 - PRLog -- It was the Fall of 2022, and organizers of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English were anxiously awaiting their Centennial Conference in Lansing, Michigan. Their keynote speaker, Semaj Brown, Poet Laureate of Flint, Michigan and Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, 2021, informed them of her special presentation, "PSL, Poetry as a Second Language: The Semajian Method", and that she would be launching her multimedia youth platform, BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™(BDCV), something that they had not experienced before in education. It is an intergenerational, futuristic platform that utilizes "applied poetry" as an integrative tool. The platform amplifies literacy capacity, improves skill-based learning, and heightens critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and cognitive expansion across disparate disciplines of science and art.
According to research, the pandemic deepened inequities in literacy rates. Students at lower-achieving schools fell further behind, potentially widening the pre-existing achievement gap between rich and poor. The COVID pandemic with its isolation and virtual teaching, exacerbated the problem of children not reading on grade level. The problem of young people reading well below their grade level increases exponentially when they attend high-poverty schools.
Semaj Brown's presentation did not disappoint. After receiving a rousing standing ovation, news about her new platform quickly spread across the state of Michigan, with multiple teachers asking to initiate BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™ in their classrooms. Within a week, Brown was peppered with additional requests from Colorado, California, and Togo West Africa. It is official, the multimedia platform based upon a singular poem is now international.
"Semaj Brown's keynote address was a vision. It was one of what education could be-and should be-in a just world that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive. She fused science, art, storytelling, and language into a tapestry for everyone in that room to discover. I think this is what led to her standing ovation: the perfectly articulated, intentional way that Semaj connected with every educator in the space in such a small-time frame." Carrie Mattern, President-Elect of MCTE, Michigan Council of Teachers of English, Flint Courier News
When asked how she developed the multimedia platform, the award-winning educator and Poet Laureate explained, "Words are the building blocks of language, just as cells are the building blocks of the living. Each word is a world, teaming with synonyms, antonyms, histories, and mysteries, a universe of narratives to be explored. The BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™ platform establishes a new way of thinking in education," states Brown.
On March 18, 2023 in commemoration of Women's History Month, the Flint Public Library will host Semaj Brown as one of the women in Flint whom they celebrate as a storyteller. Brown will have video presentations from students from the Konoura School in Togo West Africa featured, along with presentations from high school students from Peckham Career Academy, and the Holmes STEM Middle School Academy. Students from Greater Heights Academy will give their presentations in-person during a community-wide BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™ workshop. Brown has incorporated notable women scholars: Sunada Samaddar Carrado, Sonya Pouncy, Darolyn Brown, and Edith Withey to serve as panelists to have a discussion on the Black Dandelion poem. The program is free and open to the public.
With the immediate success of BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™, Brown is seeking corporate support, and funding for this innovative platform. To learn more about this new transformative educational tool, BLACK DANDELION: CONVERGENT VOICE™click this link: https://issuu.com/1plflint/docs/colored_final_booklet_blackdandelion_mcte_color
About Semaj Brown: She is Flint, Michigan's inaugural Poet Laureate and the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship Award, 2021. She is also an award-winning educator and author of the book, "Bleeding Fire! Tap the Eternal Spring of Regenerative Light." An excerpted recording is highlighted in the national AT&T Dream in Black, Black Future Makers Afrofuturistic Lifestyle television commercial. To learn more of the Black Dandelion poem evolution visit: https://poets.org/dear-semaj-brown-2022
Pamela R. Purifoy
PRPro Media Digital Marketing & Brand Strategies
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