London Poetry Slam Competition

The mindyourmind Multi Media Street Team, sponsored by Libro Financial Group, is a group of youth who have committed to promoting positive messages and to decrease the stigma around the issues of mental health.

Hey y’all, Inali here again.I’m sooo excited! Over the last few years I have been a regular performer/competitor at the London Poetry Slam. I’ve made finals a couple of times—but this year I made the team! That means I get to go to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and compete in Nationals at CFSW (Canadian Festival of Spoken Word) in October—it also means a lot of work ahead so that I am ready and can do my best. The whole experience so far has been great. I first started writing poetry to try and figure out confusing conflicts and emotions in my head—I’ve got a lot of those sometimes. Performing them on stage has allowed me to move past a lot of those issues.

I’ve drawn a lot of connections to the work that I’ve done on the MYM street team and the opportunities I’m pesented with on stage as a performance poet. On the team I’ve been given the chance to help shed light on and challenge mental health stigma, continue to think critically of the services available, be honest and open while giving feedback and trying to make change creatively, as well as build community by meeting and working together with new people.At the slam I am given the option to stand in front of a microphone in front of a room full of people and express myself creatively, and in doing so I am allowed an opportunity to raise awareness of conflicts and issues that I feel passionately about. I learn to think critically about what I see in the world, as well as challenge myself to become more open and self-aware in the ways that I communicate and how I view the world. I challenge/encourage others to do the same just by stepping on stage and trying to spark interest, emotions (any strong reaction really!), or just thought processes that might lead to deeper discussion later on.

I guess I’m just becoming more and more aware of the outlets around me to make change—and more determined to seek them out and use them!

Inali, age 21.

The Multi-Media Street Team is sponsored by the Libro Financial Group