Ten young women from Women of the Dream (WOD) are now adding “published author” to their resumes with the Feb. 28 release of “Speak Young Brown People, Speak. We Are Listening!” The book features 16 essays, poems, affirmations, and art works sharing teens’ thoughts, views, and experiences with social, economic, and environmental injustice.
In honor of these phenomenal young ladies, on April 13, 2022, at 1 p.m., Women of the Dream will host a press conference and reception in the LRC/Computer Room at Creative Arts High School inside the Camden High School Campus, located at 1700 Park Blvd. The event will feature Camden’s Mayor Victor Carstarphen, Camden Schools Superintendent Katrina T. McCombs, school officials, the student authors, and their families.
Nine of the WOD authors – Aaliyah Burke (Brimm Medical Arts High School), Gisselle Smith-Echevarria (Brimm), Ildeanis Martinez (Brimm), Jasmine Robinson (LEAP Academy), Lanasia Melvins (Brimm), Paris Mears (Brimm), Shaniya Bates (Brimm), Trinity Martinez (Penn Tech High School), and Killiam Kato (Creative Arts High School) are high school seniors. Monae Clayton graduated from Brimm in 2021. The girls shared their views and experiences on homelessness, colorism, gender inequality, police brutality, unfair gendered cultural norms, and environmental racism. “The girls embraced the project because it provided an outlet for their voices to be heard and released to the masses,” said Gaylene Gordon, the girls’ advisor and creative writing instructor for the book project.
Alberta Lampkins, the founder of A.L. Savvy Publications, the book’s publisher, is passionate about her work with young people. A former WOD volunteer and founder of Raeford-Cares, a youth organization in Fayetteville, North Carolina, invited the young women and other youth to submit items for consideration. “I’m proud that this book features so many of our Camden girls,” said Women of the Dream Founder & CEO Leslie Morris. “These girls have powerful stories and are using the skills they are learning from our programs to build bright, successful futures.” All books purchased through WOD go directly to the organization and the ten authors.
Refreshments will be served at the reception.