Climbing PoeTree has been working closely with a dynamic team of innovative educators to develop a multimedia social justice curriculum that employs the power of art to develop critical consciousness and build new leadership essential for fundamental social change. This year-long course of study highlights models of resistance and collective problem-solving to the ongoing social and ecological crises of our time.
Based off of Climbing PoeTree’s award winning production, Hurricane Season: the Hidden Messages in Water, the curriculum calls upon the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a lens through which to analyze the “unnatural disasters” affecting people and the planet locally and globally. Interactive lessons examine intersecting themes, including: indigenous land struggles; housing and gentrification; climate change and environmental injustice; economic inequality and globalization; over-policing and mass-imprisonment; war and disaster capitalism. Using a popular education framework, the Hurricane Season Curriculum interweaves compelling art and interactive exercises with research, dialogue and reflection to actively engage learners.
60 lesson plans are organized in 4 seasons:
Season 1. Self: Locating Our Personal Experience
Season 2. World: Politicizing Our Human Experience
Season 3. Change: Analyzing Solution-Based Resistance
Season 4. Action: Be That Change
Throughout these four seasons, learners are engaged with information that is relevant to their personal struggles and connects their experiences to larger social systems. The lessons apply art, culture, and new media to help students access their voice, to express their own personal narratives, and find common ground with seemingly disparate scenarios in other areas of the country and globe.
Harnessing the power of poetry, hip hop, and visual art, the Hurricane Season Curriculum centers the voices of those most impacted by “unnatural disasters,” by highlighting their creative resistance to man-made catastrophes that threaten peace, justice, and survival.
The course culminates in student-led action projects, where learners design and carry out initiatives to contribute to meaningful change related to an unnatural disaster affecting their own communities.
Our commitment through the Hurricane Season Curriculum is to support educators in supporting learners in developing the knowledge, will, creativity, and skills necessary to become compassionate leaders and visionary creators of vital social change.
The Hurricane Season Curriculum has been piloted in part, at University of North Carolina (under the direction of Prof. Priscilla Vaz) Susquehanna University (under the direction of Dr. Angelique Nixon); Global Citizenship Experience, a pioneering high school in Chicago; Flip the Table, a youth environmental justice consortium representing 12 organization through out the New York City area, and Mt. Rainier High School in Seattle for 120 student through their Restorative Justice Program. We hope that with your help we will soon be able to share this invaluable teaching tool in learning environments nationwide.
Additional Consultants: Juan Martinez, Elizabeth Simpson, Ora Wise, Dr. Micia Mosely
Check out our latest newsletter with updates about the curriculum and ways to plug in!
If you are interested in getting involved contact us:
Our team has been volunteering for 4 years to develop this curriculum! Now it’s your turn to see it off the ground!!! Make a one-time donation direct to Climbing PoeTree using a credit or debit card by clicking here:
You can also make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE contribution through our fiscal sponsor, COMMON FIRE. Write a check payable to: The Common Fire Foundation with “Climbing PoeTree/Hurricane Season” in the memo line, and mail to:
The Common Fire Foundation
67 Verplanck, #4
Beacon, NY 12508
OR you can donate through Common Fire online by clicking below. Make sure to designate your donation for the Hurricane Season Curriculum.
Climbing PoeTree is currently producing a series of 6 cinematic shorts that translate the poetry from Hurricane Season into compelling media that will accompany the curriculum. With the aesthetic appeal of a music video, each poem captures the passion of Alixa and Naima’s live performance in persuasive locations, combined with stunning dance and captivating music. We need your support in completing this series that will make it possible to introduce the poetry of Hurricane Season to classrooms and learning environments nationwide.
We are beyond excited to share this teaching tool that we have been dedicatedly crafting with great care, love, and intention. And we couldn’t do it without the support and solidarity of so many allies and believers!!
With deep appreciation and devotion,
Alixa & Naima