Justice & the American Dream: student voices

2020.2021 school year

Working with activist Darcy Ottey and Methow Arts teaching poet Cindy Williams Gutiérrez, 9th graders at Liberty Bell High School explored the meaning of justice and how it could be enhanced in their lives, school, community, and country.

They examined the American Dream from multiple perspectives: the Founding Fathers, Chief Joseph, Martin Luther King Jr., the DACA Dreamers, and their own. Using Langston Hughes’ poem “Let America Be America Again” as a springboard, students wrote their own poems of a “just” America. These original poems can be found below.

In this poetry residency, students learned what a poem of witness is and how to write one, as well as what anaphora is (the repetition of a word or phrase) and how to use it in a poem. Additional residency goals included: nurturing empathy, curiosity, and connection across difference; increasing students’ capacity for self-reflection and the ability to hold tension and contradiction as they apply moral reasoning; and developing a deeper understanding of the social fabric of the United States, and some of the history that has led to some of the unrest and division we see now.

And thank you to the generosity of our SPONSORS AND DONORS who have kept the arts alive for so many and supported this project.


Mon, Dec. 14, 2020 & Tue, April 20, 2021 at 2pm

Contact: info@methowartsalliance.org, 509.997.4004

Sponsored by PSFA, ArtsWA, National Endowment for the Arts, Icicle Fund, the Community Foundation of NCW and WESTAF + generous donors.