Virginia Currents: Richmond Cycling Corps and a Nine-Year-Old’s Nonprofit


>>COMING UP ON VIRGINIA CURRENTS.>>FIND OUT HOW RICHMOND CYCLING CORPS CAN’T STOP AND WON’T STOP IN THEIR RACE TO GIVE TEENS A PATH OUT OF PUBLIC HOUSING.>>ALSO, SEE HOW AN ATYPICAL C.E.O USES ACCESSORIES TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE TO GIRLS ACROSS THE GLOBE, AND POET ROSCOE BURNEMS ENLIGHTENS US WITH HIS MUSICAL AND POWERFUL WORDS ON DAPHNE’S CORNER.>>ALSO THE THOUGHT PROVOKING MUSIC OF YOUNG SINGER SONGWRITER ALEX NORMAN, ALL NEXT ON VIRGINIA CURRENTS. [♪♪♪] [♪♪♪]>>WELCOME TO VIRGINIA CURRENTS, I’M DAPHNE MAXWELL REID. IN 2010 WHEN FORMER PRO-CYCLIST, CRAIG DODSON, FOUNDED RICHMOND CYCLING CORPS. HE HAD NO IDEA OF THE PROFOUND IMPACT HE WAS ABOUT TO MAKE. NAMED ONE OF 2016’S TOP 10 CNN HEROES, CRAIG, ALONG WITH MATT CRANE AND MATT KUHN, SERVE ABOUT 20 YOUTH FROM PUBLIC HOUSING NEIGHBORHOODS IN RICHMOND. THEIR GOAL IS TO STAY IMMERSED IN THE LIVES OF THESE KIDS FROM ABOUT AGE 10 TO 18. >>ALL THE KIDS COME TOGETHER ON THE LEGACY MOUNTAIN BIKE RACING TEAM, WHICH BEGAN IN 2014 AS THE NATION’S FIRST AND ONLY INNER-CITY HIGH SCHOOL CYCLING TEAM OUT OF ARMSTRONG HIGH SCHOOL. OVER THE SUMMER, WE MADE TWO PIT STOPS: ONE AT THE KICKSTAND BIKE RENTAL, WHERE TWO RCC TEENS WERE EMPLOYED AS BIKE PATROL TO BRING WATER, FIRST AID AND BIKE SERVICE FOR CYCLISTS ON THE VIRGINIA CAPITAL TRAIL. AND TWO, AT THE ARMSTRONG BIKE PARK, WHERE SOME OF THE LEGACY TEAM WERE GEARING UP FOR THE SEASON AHEAD. [♪♪♪]>>YOU DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. PEOPLE TRY TO GET YOU ON THE BAD TRACK AND EVERYTHING. A LOT OF CRACK HEADS AND STUFF. YOU JUST WANT TO MOVE AWAY FROM THAT. THAT’S WHY CRAIG HERE, MAKES YOU MOVE AWAY FROM THAT. I DON’T KNOW WHERE I WOULD BE IF IT WEREN’T FOR HIM. >>EVERY KID IN PUBLIC HOUSING WILL TELL YOU THEY WANT TO GET OUT. IT’S THE HOW, IT’S NOT THERE. WE GO IN AND BASICALLY DEMONSTRATE AND TEACH THEM, THROUGH A LOT OF TOUGH LOVE, HOW IT’S POSSIBLE. >>IT’S GOOD WHEN YOU SMILE LIKE THAT. >>RCC IS RICHMOND CYCLING CORPS, AND IN A NUTSHELL, IT’S WHATEVER IT TAKES. IT’S AN OUTREACH PROGRAM THAT USES CYCLING AS A LURE TO BRING KIDS INTO WHAT IS BASICALLY CASE MANAGEMENT. WE USE THAT TERM LOOSELY, BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO CALL IT. IT’S TEACHING, IT’S PARENTING, IT’S CASE WORK. >>JUST LIKE WE DID LAST TIME, YOU AND ME. >>YOU JUST HAVE TO BE THERE NON-STOP. IT’S A PILLAR IN THEIR LIFE, CONSTANTLY. EVEN IF THEY TRY TO LET GO, YOU DON’T LET GO OF THEM. YOU STAY WITH THEM. >>ALL RIGHT, LOOK, THAT’S ALL IT TAKES, RIGHT?>>GOOD COMMUNICATION. >>HERE AT RCC, YOU’RE PART OF THIS ONE FAMILY. THEY CREATED THIS LEGACY TEAM, EVERYONE IS ON THIS SQUAD. >>COME ON, DO YOUR THING. >>YEAH, WE’RE BROTHERS, WE’RE TIGHT. YEAH. >>EVERYBODY IS DOING GOOD AT THEIR ROLE. EVERYBODY HAS A ROLE. >>AND WE’RE GETTING BETTER. >>WE’RE A TEAM, SO WE ALL ARE ON THE SAME LEVEL. WE’RE ROLE MODELS, SO WE’RE LIKE LEADERS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE’RE ON THE SAME LEVEL AS EVERYONE ELSE. >>RCC KEEPS ME MORE FOCUSED, AND IT MOTIVATES US TO BE STRONG. >>THEY KEEP OUR GRADES UP, THEY DO ALL TYPES OF STUFF. >>THEY KEEP US ON TRACK. THEY KEEP ME OUT OF TROUBLE, THINGS LIKE THAT. THEY HELP ME ON AND OFF THE BIKE. >>YOU LOOK AT RETAINMENT, NOT RECRUITMENT. YOU KNOW, WE DON’T LIKE TO PLAY THE METRICS GAME, IT’S NOT A NUMBERS GAME. WE’RE NOT TRYING TO SERVE 100 KIDS, OR 600 KIDS, THAT REALLY DOESN’T WORK. >>15 AND 20 AT A TIME IS OUR LOAD. ONCE YOU GET PAST THAT, THE AMOUNT OF QUALITY, THE CONCENTRATED DOSE OF OUTREACH WE CAN PUT INTO ONE KID BECOMES DILUTED AND IT DOES NOT WORK. WE DON’T HAVE A PROGRAM TEMPLATE, SO TO SPEAK. FOR ONE KID, THEY ARE READY FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WE SEE THAT SOMETHING IS GOING TO HELP THEM. FOR ANOTHER KID OVER HERE, IT MAY BE TRYING TO ADVANCE THEM AS A CYCLIST OR A KID OVER HERE, IT’S MAYBE THAT THEY FAILED THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR. NOW WE HAVE TO TAKE THEM TO SUMMER SCHOOL EVERY DAY. THERE’S NO BREAK. IT’S 365 DAYS A YEAR, 24/7. MAC GOES OUT AND WAKES KIDS UP AND ESCORTS THEM TO SCHOOL. IF THEY GET ARRESTED, WE’RE THERE THE NEXT DAY WITH AN ATTORNEY TO DEFEND THEM AND GET THEM OUT. >>IT’S A LOT OF FIGHT, BUT THAT’S A LOT OF COMMON THINGS THAT YOU’RE OUT THERE LATE AT NIGHT. MY FIRST YEAR, THEY THOUGHT I WAS AN UNDERCOVER COP, SO THERE WAS SOME RESISTANCE. ONE OF THE KIDS WE GOT IN WITH, HIS OLDER BROTHERS WERE THE KINGPINS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD, SO BECAUSE I WAS HELPING HIM, I GOT CRED WITH HIS BROTHERS, WHICH HELPED US. WE HAVE FULL IMMUNITY, AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWS US, EMPHATICALLY. WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE NEED TO DO, ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT. WE EVEN HAVE GUYS THAT WILL HELP US. IF WE NEED A TIP, THEY WILL GIVE US A TIP ON WHERE PEOPLE MAY BE, BECAUSE THEY KNOW WE’RE THERE TO HELP. THAT PROBABLY TOOK THREE YEARS TO GET TO THAT POINT, AND ONCE YOU BUILD THAT TRUST, YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO PROTECT IT. THE MINUTE IT GOES AWAY, YOU’RE DONE AND THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ANYTHING YOU DO, GOES AWAY. >>IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO. >>SUCCESS IS RELATIVE. SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR MEASURES OF SUCCESS, THE FIRST ONE IS NONE OF OUR KIDS ARE DEAD. THE SECOND ONE IS, NONE OF OUR KIDS ARE IN JUVENILE DETENTION, NONE OF OUR KIDS ARE USING OR SELLING HARD DRUGS. THERE’S A HIERARCHY. ONCE YOU GET TO 16 STEPS, IT’S WHAT WE COUNT, YOU HAVE THEM FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL. >>RECOVER. >>AND IT’S A TUG OF WAR. YOU’RE GOING IN AND TRYING TO DISRUPT WHAT IS GENERATIONAL AT THIS POINT, HOW YOU FUNCTION IN LIFE, BUT THOSE WAYS OF FUNCTIONING DO NOT, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO MAINSTREAM. MAINSTREAM IS WHERE JOBS AND EDUCATION AND OPPORTUNITY EXISTS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE MEANS OR SUBSET OF BEHAVIORS TO FUNCTION IN THAT, YOU’RE GOING TO REMAIN IN PUBLIC HOUSING, OR YOU’RE GOING TO GET OUT AND COME BACK TO PUBLIC HOUSING. IF YOU ASK ANY OF OUR KIDS, DO THEY KNOW ANYONE THAT’S GOTTEN OUT? NO, NONE. NOT ONE. IT’S HARD, IT’S REALLY, REALLY TOUGH. >>PEOPLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, THEY DON’T FEEL RIGHT IN THE PROJECTS, BUT WE NEED TO TRY TO MAKE IT OUT. THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO DO, GO TO COLLEGE, AND MAKE IT OUT. AIN’T NOBODY MAKE IT OUT YET, BUT I’M GOING TO MAKE IT OUT. >>THEY GIVE ME HOPE THAT ONE DAY I’LL MAKE IT OUT OF HERE. >>YEAH. >>YEAH, WE’RE GOING TO START A CYCLE. >>THERE ARE GUYS THAT LOOK UP TO US THAT ARE NOT IN THE PROGRAM. THEY SEE US RIDING, AND WE’RE JUST PICKING UP THE BIKE AND DOING WORK AND DOING OTHER STUFF. THEY LOOK UP TO US, AND THEY WANT TO BE IN THE PROGRAM. IT’S TURNED INTO A CYCLE. THE GUYS UNDER US, THEY COME UP, AND THEN PEOPLE LOOK UP TO THEM AND IT CONTINUES. >>OUR KIDS TALK ABOUT HOW MANY KIDS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD LOOK UP TO THEM BECAUSE THEY JUST HAVE A JOB. THE KICK STAND IS OUR SECOND EARNED INCOME GENERATOR. THE FIRST IS THE STUDIO THAT WE OPENED IN 2011. IT’S AWAY FOR US TO HAVE MORE FUNDING. SECONDLY, IT’S AN EMPLOYMENT OUT LET FOR SOME OF THE KIDS IN OUR PROGRAM. >>THE KICK STAND, BIKE, WE FIX BIKES, SELL THEM. I HAVE A BIKE CONTROL, ALL THE WAY OUT TO THE PARK. I JUST RIDE, HELP PEOPLE, FIRST AID, THINGS LIKE THAT. IF THEY HAVE A FLAT, ALL THAT. IT’S GREAT. IT’S A GREAT PROGRAM. >>THROW THE BIKE AROUND, IT’S SMOOTH, BE SMOOTH. >>WELL CRAIG, HE’S A NICE PERSON, CARING, HE’S A GREAT ROLE MODEL. >>HE’S ALWAYS THERE TO HELP IF YOU NEED HIM, EVEN IF YOU AIN’T GOT NO ONE ELSE. CRAIG WILL HELP YOU. >>WHEN MY DAD DIED, HE WAS THERE FOR ME. EVERYTHING HE DOES, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO QUIT CYCLING, BUT HE HELPED ME GET MY ENERGY. HE MADE ME DO THINGS FOR MY DAD, MADE ME TURN INTO A BETTER PERSON. HE THINKS OF ME LIKE HIS KID. I THINK OF HIM AS A DAD. >>YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH THESE KIDS. I MEAN, THEY GET SO DEEP IN HERE. >>TRY TO KEEP THESE GUYS IN SIGHT TODAY. YOU’RE HAVING ONE OF THE BEST WORKOUTS TODAY MARIO. >>IT’S BEEN A LOT OF SACRIFICES IN THE LAST SIX YEARS, BUT IT’S WORTH IT. THE REWARDS ARE, YOU HAVE THIS JOB. AND WATCHING ANTONIO RIDING HIS BIKE TO WORK, CHECKING IN AND HIS BOSS LOVES HIM. SEEING THE LEAPS AND BOUNDS THAT THEY MADE, KNOWING THEY WERE ON THIS TRAJECTORY, AND WE WERE ABLE TO MOVE THEM THIS WAY, AND KNOWING WHAT’S GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES, BEHIND THE SCENES AND HOW THEY’RE OVERCOMING THAT, THAT’S THE REWARD. >>YEAH BOY. [APPLAUSE]>>WE’RE TOLD THE CYCLISTS IN THE FEATURE STORY ARE STILL KEEPING THEIR ASPIRATIONS HIGH AND DOING WELL ON AND OFF THE BIKE. THE KICKSTAND CLOSED FOR THE COLD MONTHS BUT WILL RE-OPEN IN THE SPRING. RCC’S OTHER REVENUE SOURCE IS RICHMOND BICYCLE STUDIO IN SCOTT’S ADDITION. IT’S A GREAT RESOURCE FOR BIKE ENTHUSIASTS AND SUPPLIES THE LEGACY TEAM WITH PROPER GEAR AND EQUIPMENT. FOR MORE ON RCC, GO TO RICHMONDCYCLINGCORPS.ORG.>>IN NEWPORT NEWS, THERE IS A VERY UNIQUE NON-PROFIT CALLED SELAH’S DIAMONDS. IT’S C.E.O., GET THIS, IS ONLY 9 YEARS OLD! HER NAME, SELAH HOLSTON.>>DIAMONDS ARE FORMED FROM PRESSURE AND THE UNCOMFORTABLE PRESSURE OF BEING BULLIED DROVE SELAH TO CREATE THIS ORGANIZATION. WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY, SHE SENDS HER HANDCRAFTED ACCESSORIES TO GIRLS AROUND THE GLOBE. WE VISITED SELAH AT HOME, BUSY AT WORK WITH HER MOST VALUED EMPLOYEE, HER MOM, JONDAHLYN. [♪♪♪]>>WE WERE WORKING ON CAREER DAY IN FIRST GRADE, AND I WANTED TO HAVE A NON-PROFIT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO START WHEN I WAS OLDER, AND I WANTED EVERY GIRL TO FEEL SPECIAL AND UNIQUE JUST LIKE A DIAMOND. I USE TO BE BULLIED AND I HATED MYSELF. THAT’S WHY I STARTED DOING THIS. I MAKE BRACELETS, AND I MAKE NECKLACES. THE JEWELRY TO SELL TO RAISE MONEY, BUT THE PERSON IS WHAT I’M SPENDING. MY PARENTS ARE GIVING AND I WANTED TO GIVE TOO. MY VISION, WHEN I SEE THE THING I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED, I CUT OUT A PIECE OF PAPER IN A MAGAZINE, AND IT SAYS A LOT. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE A VISION BOARD, BECAUSE VISION BOARDS ARE THINGS THAT HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS. THE VISION BOARD HELPED ME GET ON TARGET WITH MY GOALS. I SPENT ALMOST 300 PURSES AROUND THE WORLD, I SENT MY PURSES TO A LOT OF PLACES IN AFRICA, AND THE UNITED STATES. I HAVE A GLOBE IN MY HOME OFFICE AND IT HAS DIAMOND STICKERS ON IT, AND WITH THE DIAMOND STICKERS, I MARK WHERE ALL THE PLACES THAT I SENT PURSES TO. I HOPE TO FILL THE WHOLE GLOBE. THE WAY I MAKE THE PURSES IS I USE ONE OF MY TWO SMALL TANK TOPS, AND I TAKE THE TANK TOP, I CUT ALL THE TAGS OFF, AND THEN I TURN IT INSIDE OUT AND I LINE THE INSIDE WITH DUCT TAPE, AND THEN I FILL THE BOTTOM AND THEN I FOLD THAT INSIDE OUT, SO THERE’S A KEY CHAIN ON IT, AND THEN I PUT A BUSINESS CARD INSIDE OF IT, AND THEN I PUT A LETTER TELLING EVERY GIRL THAT THEY’RE SPECIAL. I RESEARCHED THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A DIAMOND AND THOSE THREE WORDS, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, AND LOVED, THOSE ARE THE WORDS THAT STOOD OUT TO ME. I KNOW THAT EACH TIME I SEND PURSES, THERE’S A GIRL THAT WILL FEEL SPECIAL. [♪♪♪]>>I’M NOT SURE YOU HAVE MUCH TIME. >>MY PARENTS HELP ME AND MY GRANDPARENTS HELP ME, AND MY BROTHER HELPS ME. SOMETIMES I GET MY FRIENDS INVOLVED, AND I WILL ASK THEM TO WEAR THE PRODUCT, AND TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT. MY MOM HELPS ME. SHE’S AWESOME. I GET TO SOMETIMES TELL MY MOM WHAT TO DO AND THAT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY IT’S AWESOME. >>I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TEACH MY MOM SOME THINGS THAT ARE NEW, ABOUT THE PURSES AND JEWELRY. IT FEELS GREAT TO BE ABLE TO RETURN THE FAVOR THAT SHE’S TAUGHT ME MOST THINGS AND NOW I GET TO TEACH HER SOME THINGS. >>WOW. >>DEAR FRIEND, EVERY GIRL IS A DIAMOND BECAUSE SHE IS UNIQUE, SPECIAL, AND LOVED. YOU ARE BEAUTIFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE, JUST LIKE YOUR HANDMADE PURSE. I HOPE THAT YOU EXPERIENCED AN UP LIFTING FEELING OF CONFIDENCE, BEAUTY, AND SELF-ESTEEM WHEN CARRYING THE DIAMOND’S PURSE. ALWAYS REMEMBER, YOU SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND, LOVE SELAH. >>SELAH IS NOW WORKING ON A BOOK ABOUT SELF-ESTEEM. TO EXPAND HER MESSAGE OF ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-VALUE, SHE PLANS TO SEND HER PRODUCTS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS FAMILY, OPRAH, AND STEVE HARVEY. TO HELP SELAH’S MISSION VISIT SELAHSDIAMONDS.COM.>>VIRGINIA CURRENTS TV PROGRAMS CAN BE SEEN ANYWHERE, ANY TIME AT ideastations.org/ VirginiaCurrents. TO HEAR VIRGINIA CURRENTS RADIO STORIES, VISIT ideastations.org/RadioCurrents. >>AERODYNAMICALLY THE BUMBLEBEE SHOULDN’T BE ABLE TO FLY. ITS BODY IS TOO BIG. ITS WINGS ARE TOO SMALL, BUT IT GOES ON ANYWAY BECAUSE THE BUMBLEBEE DOESN’T KNOW THAT.>>I’M NOT SURE WHO PUT THE FEAR OF FALLING IN MY FAMILY, BUT IT’S ALL THEY’VE PASSED ON. CONVINCED THAT ADVERSITY IS A BEAR THAT WILL SWAT YOU INTO THE GRASS. WE WEREN’T MEANT TO FLY, THEY SAY. I HAVE BEEN TASKED WITH RAISING A QUEEN, AND THE PARENTING ADVICE THAT I RECEIVED WAS TO CAUTION MY DAUGHTER THAT DREAMS ARE TOO BIG, THAT LIFE IS TOO SMALL. THE POSSIBILITY THAT SHE’LL NEVER TAKE FLIGHT IS TOO GREAT; PLAY IT SAFE. THEY ARE ADVISING TO DO WHAT THEY DID TO ME.>>THE YOUNG BUMBLEBEE, READY TO GRAB LIFE BY THE ANTENNA. SIP UPON NECTAR FROM OUTSIDE OF THIS MONOTONOUS GARDEN.>>I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I WAS STUNG. RIGHT INSIDE OF THE COLONY. FAMILY SQUASHED MY VISIONS OF STARDOM. I LEARNED LATER THAT IT WASN’T THEIR FAULT, THAT THEIR ANCESTORS CLIPPED THEIR FLUTTERING ASPIRATIONS WHEN THEY WERE JUST LARVAE. YOU HAVE TO AIM HIGH TO AVOID WET WINGS TO THE JOURNEY. RECONDITIONING MY MIND TO REMEMBER THAT I AM NO DRAGONFLY, BUT I SPAN JUST ENOUGH TO STAY AFLOAT. MY BABY GIRL IS A CHIP OFF THE OL’ STINGER; ALL VENOM AND OPTIMISM; TESTING THE AIR WITH HOPES THAT GET SO HIGH YOU CAN PACK IT UP IN A DIME BAG AND SELL IT. I WILL NOT DROWN HER IN THEIR DOUBT; SCARE HER INTO THINKING THAT SHE MAY LEAP FROM THE BRANCH BUT SHE ISN’T GUARANTEED TO CATCH A DRAFT. SHE MAY EVEN CRASH. FORGET THAT. THEY’RE THEIR INSECT SIZE MIND SAYS THE BUMBLEBEE’S BODY IS TOO SMALL, DESTINY DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT AERODYNAMICS. >>WELCOME TO DAPHNE’S CORNER. YOU JUST EXPERIENCED THE ENLIGHTENING WORDS OF SLAM POET DOUGLAS POWELL, ARTISTICALLY KNOWN AS ROSCOE BURNEMS. THIS RICHMOND NATIVE PERFORMS EVERYWHERE FROM COFFEE SHOPS AND SCHOOLS TO UNIVERSITIES, THEATERS, AND ARENAS. HE IS THE FOUNDER AND COACH FOR THE WRITER’S DEN POETRY SLAM TEAM BASED OUT OF RICHMOND. HE HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO POETRY, EDUCATION, AND ENTERTAINMENT. WELCOME DOUGLAS. OR SHOULD I CALL YOU ROSCOE. >>ROSCOE IS FINE, WHATEVER YOU’RE COMFORTABLE WITH. >>NOW YOU DO SLAM POETRY, FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, WHAT IS SLAM POETRY?>>SLAM POETRY IS A PERFORMANCE POETRY ARENA, WHERE POETS COMPETE AGAINST OTHER POETS OR TEAMS OF POETS IN A COMPETITION, SO YOU KNOW, POETS WILL GO ON STAGE AND PERFORM IN FRONT OF JUDGES, AND THE BEST SCORE AT THE END OF THE NIGHT WINS. THERE’S PRIZE MONEY AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. >>WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION? THIS POEM WE JUST HEARD, YOU GET FROM REAL LIFE GROWING UP. >>YEAH, I PULL A LOT FROM REAL EXPERIENCES. POETRY HAS BEEN AN AVENUE FOR ME, FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. I CAME OFF MY DEPRESSION, AND TALKED ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES. WITH THIS PARTICULAR POEM, MY KIDS ARE A HUGE INSPIRATION FOR ME. >>GOOD, I LOVE METAPHORICAL POETRY AND THIS IS METAPHORICAL. WHAT OTHER METAPHORS HAVE YOU USED IN SLAM. >>I PULL FROM A WIDE RANGE OF THINGS, WHETHER IT’S BUMBLEBEES, OR WE’RE TALKING ABOUT METAPHYSICS, AS AN EXTENDED METAPHOR. I PULL A LITTLE BIT FROM EVERYTHING, WHATEVER IS AROUND ME. >>NOW YOUR POEMS ARE INSPIRATIONAL. I MEAN THE ONE WE JUST HEARD, INSPIRATIONAL. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR AUDIENCE TO FEEL OR DO AFTER THEY HEAR YOUR POETRY?>>I WANT THEM TO ASPIRE TO CHANGE THEIR COMMUNITY, THEIR WORLD FOR THE BETTER. THE REASON I GOT INTO THIS IS THAT POETRY MADE AN IMPACT ON MY LIFE AND PERFORMING HAD AN IMPACT ON OTHER PEOPLE, AND I WANT THOSE PEOPLE IMPACTED TO GO AND IMPACT OTHER LIVES. >>AND TELL US ABOUT THAT IMPACT THAT IT’S HAD ON YOUR LIFE. >>POETRY, IT HAS BEEN MY SAVING GRACE WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL. I FELT OUTCASTED, DEPRESSED, AND POETRY WAS AWAY FOR ME TO GET ALL MY EMOTIONS ON PAPER AND OFF MY CHEST. >>YOU HAD GUIDANCE IN DEVELOPING YOUR EXPRESSIVE VOICE. >>I READ A LOT, AND WHETHER THAT WAS BOWENS IT WAS WHAT PUSHED MY ART FORWARD. FROM THERE, I HAVE JUST BEEN WRITING. >>HOW DOES ONE GET INTO SLAM POETRY?>>WELL, THEY CAN COME TO THE WRITER’S DEN. WE HAVE A SLAM EVERY MONTH. YOU PROBABLY KNOW THE SOCIETY, AND WE’RE THERE THE LAST NIGHT OF EVERY MONTH. >>AH, TELL US ABOUT THE WRITER’S DEN. >>IT’S A POETRY COLLECTIVE, AND A POETRY SLAM TEAM THAT SENDS A TEAM OF REPRESENTATIVES TO REGIONAL AND NATIONAL COMPETITIONS. >>AND WHERE DO THE STUDENTS COME FROM THE DEN. >>THEY COME FROM ALL OVER, THEY’RE LOCAL POETS THAT HAVE EITHER BEEN COMPETING FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND WANT TO REPRESENT THE CITY THEY COME FROM OR THE CITY THEY’RE IN. THERE ARE STUDENTS, ALUMNI, THEY COME FROM ALL OVER. >>WOW, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING TO DAPHNE’S CORNER. FOR MORE ON DOUGLAS POWELL, ARTISTICALLY KNOWN AS ROSCOE BURNEMS, VISIT ROSCOEB.WEBS.COM. [♪♪♪]>>TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT ON VIRGINIA MUSIC SHINES ON FOLK SINGER-SONGWRITER ALEX NORMAN. HER DELICATE YET DYNAMIC VOICE AND BUILDING RHYTHMS ENHANCE HER STORY-TELLING AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING LYRICS. ALEX HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED IN VARIOUS SONG-WRITING COMPETITIONS AND YOU CAN SEE HER STRUMMING AT COFFEE SHOPS AND BREWERIES AROUND RICHMOND AND CHARLOTTESVILLE. SHE IS ALSO A TALENTED ARTIST OF MIXED MEDIA LIKE: CHARCOAL, CHALK, OIL PAINT, WOOD, AND HAS DELVED INTO INTERACTIVE ART WITH HER CONTEMPLATIVE SAND BOXES. WE LEAVE YOU NOW WITH ONE OF HER PERFORMANCES AT ASHLAND COFFEE AND TEA. THANKS FOR WATCHING VIRGINIA CURRENTS. JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR MORE INSPIRING STORIES. I’M DAPHNE MAXWELL REID. [♪♪♪] CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY:
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