R.O.Y.A.L. (Raising Our Youth As Leaders)


Do The Write Thing of DC sponsors a multi-media arts/leadership program for urban youth that includes the following:

Poetry writing/spoken-word performance and publishing workshops teach youth how to write well-crafted poetry and publish a collection of their work. Youth publish a book of their poems, sign copies of their book at Eastern Market, churches and at the prestigious Author's Pavilion during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference at the D.C. Convention Center. DTWT youth were the only teen authors invited to the CBCF event in September 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. DTWT youth have published six books of poetry that are available for public consumption at Amazon.com: Black Flames (2010); Paper Outlets (2011); Our Planets, Ourselves (2012); Poetry In Motion: The Birth Of Success (2013), Birth of Success II - Anthologies (2014) and Written Soul (2015). In 2012, the youth were considered by the NAACP Image Awards nominating committee in the literature category based on their book of poems.

The youth also participate in Youth Open Mic Poetry Slams at BusBoys and Poets Restaurant (third Saturdays every month) and attend local poetry festivals. Split This Rock/DC Youth Poetry Slam Team sponsors a bi-annual festival. PoetryN.O.W. sponsors the annual DMV-Louder Than A Bomb Poetry Festival for High School Students at George Washington University. During 2015-2016, youth will co-host Youth Open Mic Poetry Slams outdoors on the showmobile at public housing sites in Wards 7 and 8.

Songwriting/music production workshops include song structure (hooks, chorus, verse, bridge), melody, harmony, tone, what a producer does, various music genres. Students are divided into groups, develop lyrics and record their songs in a mobile sound recording studio then upload them to the Internet (soundcloud/YouTube).

Music video production workshops engage youth in training that includes hands-on experience with the tasks required to create a video (directing, producing, production coordinating, production design, wardrobe, lighting, sound, camera work and editing). Students learn how to use video editing software for trimming, splicing, cutting and arranging clips, color manipulation, titling and visual effects. Youth learn how to upload video to the internet (YouTube, Vimeo), DVD and mobile devices.

During the summer, eligible youth are paid to participate in R.O.Y.A.L. through DOES/SYEP.