Kalisha's Practicing Peace training for educators and workshops for students are here to quench the thirsty spirits of people wondering how to survive in a healthy, holistic way when they feel surrounded by violence and the constant signals to create it for themselves. Educators leave with a recommended reading list and creative writing exercises booklet.
Her creative writing workshops provide pre-selected students with a powerful half-day of positive dialogue, communal feedback and self-expression centered on facing present challenges and envisioning future goals. Each registered student receives refreshments, an autographed copy of one of Kalisha's novels and a creative writing journal.
Why This Work Matters
“The average age of onset is earliest for gang membership (average age of 15.9), followed by marijuana use (16.5), drug dealing (17.0), gun carrying (17.3) and hard drug use (17.5)... Of all offenses, dealing drugs and illegally carrying guns have the highest persistence from adolescence into adulthood... One study found that most youths who join gangs do so at very early ages, typically between 11 and 15; ages 14-16 are the peak for gang involvement. In contrast, most homicides are single events committed in the 19-24 age range. However, gang killings take place mostly during adolescence.” -(Source: Rosenfeld, Richard, Helene R. White, and Finn-Aage Esbensen, “Special Categories of Serious and Violent Offenders: Drug Dealers, Gang Members, Homicide Offenders, and Sex Offenders,” in From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention, eds. Rolf Loeber and David P. Farrington, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012: 118-149.)
Most young people "hate" writing for the same reasons adults find it difficult: they lack confidence to believe their thoughts are valid and they fear criticism. They also have wide access to books, films, music and more showing them language and expression inappropriate for school environments, so inadequate models to follow. Currently, a dearth of intriguing and age-appropriate materials exist for families and educators to provide to middle and high school students. Much of the materials available, available from educational publishers and featuring near journalistic tones, do not personalize the issues or put a real face on the possibilities for change. Practicing Peace provides educators with the tools to approach students from all walks of life to help:
- Increase non-violent communication skills and self-expression confidence
- Write honestly, intentionally and exceptionally (most young people "hate" writing because they lack confidence to believe their thoughts are valid and
student writing workshops
Most young people "hate" writing for the same reasons adults find it difficult: they lack confidence to believe their thoughts are valid and they fear criticism. They also have wide access to books, films, music and more showing them language and expression inappropriate for school environments, so inadequate models for them to follow.