Following the publication of their first book, The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another, Juntos, the authors of the Hispanic Literacy Group from Juntos NC spent a year sharing their pieces through reading events across the Raleigh-Wake County area to increase awareness and advocate for the Hispanic immigrant population in our community and the greater immigrant community in our nation. They utilized these moments to lead and empower youth, while also standing up for those that cannot yet find their voice to stand up for themselves. This book follows their explorations with their relationship to their community but also advocates for the challenges and issues that they and their families face. This bilingual text is proudly and boldly written in the form of blackout poetry, interviews, autoethnographies, letters and poems. Collectively, these pieces demonstrate the power of our voices and our truths.
The Roots of Our People: From One World to Another
Young authors based out of Garner Magnet High School wrote and published bilingual memoirs, poems, letters, vignettes and essays to illustrate their roots of where they’re from, explore the dualities of their identities, and demonstrate the strength of the Latino community. In resounding individual and collective voices, these authors describe how they embrace the roots of their people while they pursue higher education, advance new opportunities and advocate for the immigrant community in America.
Strong and Unbroken
This book holds the narratives of youth who are strong and unbroken despite forces that have held them back along the journey. Following Dr. Martin Luther King’s advice, they share how they have found ways to empower themselves and provide light to their communities.
About the project
The 2018-2019 cohort of Bull City YouthBuild students in Durham, North Carolina, engaged in the publication process to help them reflect on their past lives as they look towards their positive futures. Not only did they construct a house together for their community in Durham, but also they constructed strong narratives to give voice to their stories.
Their journeys were not always easy, but their narratives reveal strength, perseverance and determination for holding fast to their unbroken lives. Through writing, publishing and sharing, the students were able to share themselves with their words.
Blueprints: Building Lives and Redesigning Futures
On October 26, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech to teens at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, PA. Unlike his national addresses, this speech entitled “What is your life’s blueprint?” offered personal advice to youth during a crucial part in their lives. In a high school auditorium, he urged them to draft a life’s blueprint and allow the blueprint to shape and guide the way which they construct their lives. In this collection of narratives and essays, Bull City YouthBuild students of Durham, North Carolina, adopted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech on its 50th anniversary, not only setting upon the extended metaphor of blueprints to rebuild their lives, but also using actual blueprints to build a house together in Durham.
About the project
In January 2018, the Triangle Literacy Council released Blueprints: Rebuilding Lives and Redesigning Futures, a collection of works by the first cohort of students of the Bull City YouthBuild. Student Press Initiative published the book with the help of NC State College of Education.
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In this book, you will find poetry, essays, memoirs and letters written by the 2019 cohort of Bull City YouthBuild students. Their words are honest and true. Together, they wrote about their experiences growing up within a system that has traditionally tried to hold them back and the ways in which they have persevered. Through the writing project sponsored by the Literacy and Community Initiative, the Bull City YouthBuild students wrote together as they reflected on their past in designing their futures. They drew on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s advice as they worked to be the best of whatever they are. The stories of these youth do not reveal an easy journey. However, their words show strength, power and resilience in facing this struggle. As you read their narratives, you will find youth who stand unbroken, even through the shadows.
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The LCI team is currently celebrating their recent publication with the Juntos HLG while also working with YouthBuild to write their third publication! Additionally, the LCI team is working on starting their new partnership with CORRAL in Cary, North Carolina.
In A Leg Up, the student authors at CORRAL Riding Academy explore their stories in their first published book. Through writing, the authors have put words to their experiences and shared their reflections on life, community and identity. As they consider these concepts, they demonstrate the power of the written word to transform, heal and inspire.
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