SHS senior promotes activism through poetry workshop


Madison Hentze, Staff Writer

In this day and age, there are so many groups of young student activists around the world trying to make a difference in their communities. At SHS, senior Taha Vahanvaty embraces activism on a whole new level.

Vahanvaty was recently named the Youth Chairman for Monroe Country United (MCU), which is a local non-profit organization. MCU’s mission statement is “building relationships, breaking barriers”.

Vahanvaty and MCU’s president, Mr. Tom Jones, have partnered up with Stroudsburg’s first African American church, “Little Bethel”, to create an online Spoken Word Workshop. On November 8 from 3:00-4:30 p.m., MCU is hosting a 90-minute workshop via Zoom to help students of all ages in Monroe County explore activism through poetry and explain how to communicate everyday experiences through the spoken word.

“This spoken word workshop is the organization’s most recent project dedicated toward promoting inclusion and understanding among Monroe County residents of different racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds,” said Vahanvaty.

The keynote speaker for this online workshop will be ESU English Professor Dr. Artress Betheny White. White is an award-winning poet, scholar, and essayist. Her work has been published in several prestigious literary journals, such as the Harvard Review and African Voices.

“Having a speaker like Dr. White at this event will prove to be an invaluable experience for all participants” said Vahanvaty. During the workshop, students will have the opportunity to learn how to improve their performance skills as spoken word artists and understand how to write about political, social, and cultural issues in new and interesting ways. 

“We want students to use spoken word as a transformative tool to impact the lives of others,” Vahanvaty said.

To register for the Spoken Word Workshop on November 8 at 3:00-4:30 please use the following link:

If you have any questions about the event please email Taha Vahanvaty at [email protected].

For more information on MCU visit their Facebook Page, and for more information on Little Bethel please visit their website.