Participants wrote in our warm, brave space with teacher, poet, and mentee alum Brittany Barker. Brittany led mentees and mentors through a separate series of prompts to help us explore our feelings, particularly as they relate to the Election and political turmoil in our country. Through prompts and discussion, our community came together for a moment of reflection, exploration, and much needed healing, writing our way to wellness.
Brittany Barker is a Guyanese American writer, educator and content creator from Harlem, NYC. Her creative work, which has recently transformed from the literary and performative space to the digital arena, taps into the inner landscape in search of history, re-memory and transformation. The goal: healing, survival, sustenance and forward-movement. As a performing artist, she’s graced the New Amsterdam Theatre stage as the 2nd place winner of the 2012 Knicks Poetry Slam, toured her 1st one-woman show, BlackGirl ThirdSpace: Standing Upright in the Crooked Room at Theaterlab in NYC and Dickinson College in PA, and delivered her work & taught writing craft workshops across the NYC area, including Girls Write Now Inc. Her work in the classroom closely aligns to her creative work, as she served as a 9th grade Arts & Consciousness instructor and curriculum designer. In the classroom she merges art wellness with a spiritual spin on civics to teach her students how to harness the power of art to prompt self-discovery and positive social reformation. She was recently spotlighted in the Walton Foundations Teachers Inspire article. Outside of the classroom, she is the Dean of Programs at Dream Charter HS. Her pedagogy centers whole-child education, particularly the development of socio-emotional and spiritual intelligence in students. Furthermore, her service as an educator seeks to bring humane scholarship, as Toni Morrison calls it, to the forefront of conversations and pedagogies about the future of education, and to place it within the center of student learning and development. In another lane of her life, she’s currently experimenting with movement and physical expression.