Friday, October 16, 2009

Post Conference: UPDATE

Though late in updating the blog, a lot has been shared via facebook and twitter which are on the left hand side of this page, free for those of you to join and stay updated on VONY progress, current news, events and info. Here is a list of events and news that have happened since our VONYspeak Youth Media/Arts Conference and Benefit!

We got to participate in ROCK THE BLOCK on Aug 15th 2009. An all day Artist Emergence Day long festival. Full of street vendors, fashion shows, performances, art exhibits, ect. VONY got to host the Word Sound Soul Lounge at Rebar. Hosted by Laura DEE VONY's favorite personality and activist and Spoken Word Artist Suzen Baraka(emerging VONY Teacing Artist. Artists like Oveous Maximus, Jeff Dess, Rainmaker, Tresure the Empress, Ihsan and many more were performing their spoken word, songs and sharing their love and wisdom with all. Also VONY'S very own Joel Mejia got to screen his film MIDDLE SCHOOL MIDDLE PASSAGE exclusively at the Word Sound Soul Lounge!

Also in other parts of the festival VONY program director and teaching artist LICHIBAN was spreading her talents as a visual artist and painted in the Canvas & Chaos BK Runway show! Nikki NTU shared her voice and performed her music during the event. A full day of art exchange and NYC Artist spotlight!

here are some pics from the event and trailer of the film!


Middle School/Middle Passage (The Journey)

Brownsville, New York is a tough neighborhood for young people. Plagued by its history of gang violence, drug dealing, low graduation rates and low self-esteem, the neighborhood schools represent the struggle to survive with as little bit of resources possible.

Middle School/Middle Passage (The Journey) is a raw and revealing documentary about an innovative arts program and the inspiring stories of teachers and students growing as they learn more about their African and Native American history.

ALSO: We had the pleasure of hitting up RISE UP RADIO on WBAI 99.5 FM with host TASTYKEISH, who showed love and support and gave VONY an opportunity to come on and broadcast live as her guests. Founder and Creative Director Suzanna-O and Visual Artist/Youth Mentor LICHIBAN, discussed the KIDS DREAM IN COLOR workshops, DARE TO DREAM PROJECT and The Movement that VONY is! Definitely shout out to everyone at the WBAI RISE UP RADIO crew and especially Keisha for inviting VONY to the show! Peace n lite Sue!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Meet the V.O.N.Y speaks PANELISTS!

I can't wait for all of these artists, educators and progressive minds, to share in discussion the wonderful possibilities to allow our children to experiment with their own voices and show us what they are thinking and seeing. We can help aide the direction of their expression into a positive light by, if it's reflecting pain we can help them heal through it or if it's showing advancement we can praise it. Babies show u how to be, that's why raising children is a way of life. We learn about our selves through the eyes of a child. We need to pay more attention to what our kids are doing, because common folks don't know that, they are preparing for the future and the way they perceive the world now will dictate the aftermath of their actions. We need to raise active participants of communities, that way everyone has a use they can share to help keep society involved and resourceful for the common need for growth of progression. Everyone of these panelist's have been chosen because they are actively contributing to the youth and working with communities to raise awareness about the importance of youth developments and it's benefits for the future of mankind. Thanks again for stepping into the movement part of things..and taking part in the movement for youth empowerment!

Here is a list of the topics and panelist speaking at the 1st Annual Youth Media/Arts conference . Get to know them and their influence to communities, society and mankind as a whole.

"In An Ideal World: Brainstorming Educational Policies for the 21st Century"

Shomwa Shamapande: Communications Advisor, Writer, and Activist! Check him out below at links to articles and networks he is members of: He along with other school administrators, educators, parents and youth advocates will be speaking in the 1st Annual Voices of New York Speak Youth Media/Arts Conference panel discussions.

Stacey Shells: Principal, educator, youth advocate.
Stacey Shells is
the Founding Principal of True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School, which is a part of Uncommon Schools. She is currently set to open her second school in the fall of 2010.

Kanene Holder: Educator, Award winning actress, youth activist.

is a New York Life Graduate Fellow for the Colin Powel Center for Public Policy at City College researching the psycho-social impacts of living in urban areas and currently teaches 5
th grade social studies at Harlem Children’s Zone. Her revolutionary social justice/multimedia curriculum is responsible for her students being published in the Creative Communities poetry anthology and their protest posters being exhibited at NYU, Steinhart.

Lee Turley: Special needs advocate
Lee Turley a Berklee College of Music graduate ran the only co-ed special olympics gymnastics program in metro Boston from 2003-2008. During this time he also became a consultant for the City of Cambridge public school system as a special needs advisor for their personal aides. Helped train one of his special needs athletes to become an official competing team member for the CRLS gymnastics team a first in the school's history along with training her to become a gymnastics coach as her lifelong vocation post high school implemented through the State of Massachusetts.

Kareem Hertzog: F1 in Schools Consultant USA.

And last but not least is Laurie, she epitomizes the type of woman you become when you open your heart and embrace your new found role and fulfill the highest position society has and that is motherhood. Raising a son under the spectrum of Autism, Laurie has given her life to educate people on the epidemic and shares her story to of struggles with the Education/Medical system and the positive advancements made with her son Jack's learning disability.

Laurie Markiewicz: Parent, Youth advocate/Special needs educator; Ladies Love NYC Collective.
Deeply rooted in the Tri-State Area,
Laurie Markiewicz (Miss Laurie/LadiesLoveNyc) has been involved in the underground hardcore/hip-hop/skate circuits for more than half of her life. Laurie packs an impressive list of credentials with extensive and nuanced work in youth development, ranging from her experience with newborns, to youth in the juvenile detention centers in New York. Laurie’s main vision and driving passion is towards bringing women to the forefront of media through the performing and visual arts, as well as fundraising for different community initiatives. Her two most recently produced and very successful events, Ladies Love Dilla & Ladies Love The Breaks, were a fundraisers for Lupus & Autism Awareness.

Other Panel themes covered.
"Rise of Teaching Artists" (Modern Day Mentors)

Stacey Alicia: Adapting CHAMP+ for South Africa: Supporting HIV+ Youth and Families,Project Director, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University.

Suzen Baraka: Spoken Word Artist and youth activist. An award-winning performer, Suzen has competed nationally in both speech forensics and in spoken word with the Newark, New Jersey Slam Team in Austin, Texas (2006), affirming her exceptional skill as an artist.

Nikki Ntu: Artist Mcee, Voices of New York's Youth Advocate and Mentor. Check out the recent release of her her Debut Album "History of Dreams". Her undeniable style fervor
infused with political and a spiritual self -expression heard from very few artists today.

Kim Alderman: Parent and Teaching Artist. Specializes in teaching youth sculptural ceramics, mixed media painting and the art of sand-painting [Rangoli] from India.

RIP: Founder of Writer Block, a Cultural Arts movement based in New york City. Spoken Word artist, Community Organizer and Activist.


The "Media and Identity" Panelists are Youth Media Activists addressing how media can shape the identities and culture of our children.

Melo X: Music Producer, Artist, Youth Advocate

Allyson Cole: Founder of Start-up Non-profit, Create a Path, for adolescent girls on probation
that will enable them to fulfill their self-declared artistic, vocational, and educational goals.

Tiffany Richards: Film Director, Youth Media Activist.

Lisa Russell: Filmmaker and Activist is an Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker whose background in humanitarian and international development work has inspired her to produce films about the health and well-being of our global society.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Benefit Concert Flyer by Lichiban

Lichiban is VONY'S very own teaching artist and mentor, other then giving back to the youth she is also a talented visual artist with an extraordinary gift. I was blessed to have her design a Flyer highlighting The Voices of New York Speak Benefit concert. The Benefit Concert doors will open at 7pm and show will start at 8pm. *Also sharing the stage with BILAL, 88-Keys, and Jesse Boykins III now is Honey Larochelle check her out @

For a peak in to Lichiban's world go to

The Youth Media/Arts Conference is happening right before the concert with in the same venue 92yTribeca a Multimedia center located in the heart of Tribeca. It will start from 2-7pm offering workshops, panels, film screenings, and activites/workshops at the Kidz Corner, a free daycare opportunity for parents that want to attend.

The benefit concert will offer guests a chance to network, mingle and celebrate our youth, while raising money for Voices of New York a non-profit organization, to provide youth media/arts programs that offer creative expression outlets to build positive critical thinking and confidence within underserved communities. To learn more please go to

Thursday, June 4, 2009


The Compound has kicked off their Brooklyn summer series Part 1 to benefit Dare to Dream , Create a Path, and Voices of New York. Supporting our causes to provide Creative Arts to youth for the greater good of their development! It's an honor to have been pick out to be showcased for the work VONY wants to do. They are supporting the 1st Annual Voices of New York Speak Youth Media/Arts conference this June 27th by raising money for the project and making sure that it is a reality for parents, educators and youth advocates to attend. FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Flow For Change Poetry Event Fundraiser!

The Flow for Change Poetry event fundraiser at Drom was a hit! We had some of the most inspirational poets perform for the cause of raising money for the 1st Annual Youth Media/Arts Conference this June 27th. We were able to make close to our goal and most of all we had a world premier screening of the Voices of New York Speak PSA (public service announcement) for our guests.

Our guests had a great time and enjoyed the spoken word of Marxman, Helen D. Lewis, Oveous Maximus, Kesed, from the HBO series Brave New Voices Joshua Bennet and Queen GodIs, and last but not least Def Poetry Jams very own Black Ice. These poets brought their own unique style and graced the stage with lyrics that moved, inspired, and gave us a good laugh.

Thanks to everyone who supported and contributed to making this Conference a reality for parents, educators and teaching artists to attend and discuss youth media and the education system and learn key tools that will assist with bringing our youth an updated school curriculum integrated with multimedia resources and creative arts programs.

Photos courtesy of M.Johnson

Monday, May 18, 2009

Interview w/ me on Coup d'etat Brooklyn

Coup d' etat interviewed me for their "Live to change something" section of their site, to check it out please click the link:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Raw Diet Update!

Day 5 of my raw fast. So far it's been very challenging doing the fast during the winter time. The couple times I did the fast it was warmer weather, however I must say I am face to face with my will. I can honestly say I almost gave up the fast for a warm bowl of oatmeal until I realized I was faced with the decision to give up on my health. This fast has been very enlightening in the respect that I have been able to notice all my weaknesses and release them for strength. I have been eating lots of different salads mixing fruits, veggies, and nuts. I made some dishes that came out okay. I took avocado, tomato, garlic, lemon juice and mixed in chopper in to a dip which I used for broccoli florets and string beans to dip in. This actually was good, it made a great snack . I took carrots, garlic, lemon juice that I put in a chopper and stuffed into avocado halves, I drizzled raw apple cider vinegar and flax seed over top. This also was good, the carrots offered sweetness, and the garlic gave a spicy kick. I also made a chopped spinach salad, with avocado, sun dried tomato, cut up tomato, chopped cashews, tossed in pesto sauce. Now this was very flavorful. I am doing research everyday, learning the ins and outs of this diet. There are people that live on a raw diet everyday, who have given up the whole idea of cooking food practically dead for the benefits of live foods. There are restaurants, cook books, sites dedicated to Cooking live foods. The list of what one can eat and flavor with is quite extensive, though it takes a lot of creativity and trials before you can really enjoying cooking live foods. I have kept things for the most part pretty basic, I'm sure the more times I do this fast I will consider trying newer things. My intake of greens and fruits has been high and I realized how easy it is to eat junk rather than making a fruit salad or snacking on nuts or veggies. My son isn't on the fast with us 100%, he is fasting though from meat, sugar, dairy, processes foods, etc, he is enjoying high intake of beans, lentils, veggies, fish, fruit. For snacks instead of crackers or yogurt he has been eating carrots, grapes, nuts, he loves when I make raw apple sauce. He has been eating cooked foods, however I include raw every way I can, for example by chopping in spinach into his rice bowls, or tossing pasta with pesto and peas. Juicing has been great. My favorite juice is carrots, celery, beets, ginger, apples. This juice tastes great. If anything improved so far during this fast, it has been my ability to focus and think clearer. My husband is appreciating the fast he actually was my driving force when I started to come up with excuses to just stop. I can so far say it's going well, there is 9 days of the fast left, and then we have to ween back grains, fish, ect. thanks for stopping by. Peace and lite!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I would like to welcome this new year with peace, prosperity and good health for all things sound and unseen throughout the universe and beyond. This year I wish to take a stand in the right direction by listening more to my intuition, mind, body and spirit. Right now it is guiding me to release unwanted energy, waste, and gain powerful will, clarity, and direction. The direction for me is a better out look, healthy self, and positive flow.

Through various trials, I found, I am most balanced when I am eating only fish as my meat, and eliminating red meats and poultry. It's many benefits suit my particular body's necessities. However, those of you that know me, understand I am a mother and had to go through pregnancy. During my pregnancy in my 3rd month, I had the sudden undying urge to bite in to a big mac, after not have eaten fast food or red meat for 5 years. Now, that was a big decision, because I grew up loving to tear up some well seasoned steak, but I also, was so convinced to stop eating beef after all the research I allowed my self to find. But nothing at that point, could stop me from creating an argument to get my big mac and, sink my teeth in the thousand islandy sweetness that makes my beef o.k. to eat. Since then, I have been eating beef not particularly big macs. And, you know what? My son is now 2 years old. So, to lift the energy of beef from my path, I decided it was time to go on my fast. It takes 2 weeks only. I love it and I got my husband into it when we were dating. It allows one to reach their center and feel the balance with in and applying discipline where needed. For me, slowing things down to a primal state of thinking in my eating habits gives me the source to do that with my personal instincts. Connecting me to a deeper level of my self through meditations and consciousness.

The grounds where your feet touch can let you bend down to pick out carrots for your enjoyment and grow a tree with fruits and nuts to munch on. Without any sense of it's use we bit into it. Our natural senses are very attracted to raw eating. We just don't know it. So this month I'm taking my way in to a pure, conscious, natural, primal way of eating with a modern twist. The modern twist is the use of appliances to cook with. Like the blender, juicer, chopper, etc. Stay glued through my 2 week journey going raw. Sharing tips, ideas, and recipes. And oh yeah! My son is joining us, he needs this too. Since 6 months ago, when he was introduced to candy and ice cream, it has been a challenge. So it's time to show him how to release all that build up, caused from processed sugars and too much dairy. And retrain our palates to enjoy natures goodies. I do this fast to get centered or help me clear out the bad eating I have exposed my body to. They say you feel as good as you eat. So I want to feel the best, why not eat natures best. Raw!