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Poets pitch nuclear justice

The Fountain City Poets, with some funding from PeaceWorks KC, went to a national poetry slam and took second place. Wow!
AP (A Poet) says the apocalypse is a sweet scented spring and sunrise a sowing of seedlings.--Photo by Jim Hannah at the Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembrance, 2023.

By Kimmy Igla

PeaceWorks KC gave a generous donation in 2023 to the Fountain City Poets local slam team so they could go to a regional slam in Portland, OR, where they took 2nd place as a team, and two teammates took first place in other side competitions. Congratulations, poets! 

Now, the poets are galvanized for nuclear justice. I’ve been meeting with them to share more about KC’s nuclear history, and relating nuclear violence to colonization. The Fountain City Poets are using their craft to shed a light on what much of the public is unaware of: nuclear weapons production with our tax dollars, and the ramifications of nuclear violence. Our collaboration has a steadfast goal of educating ourselves, so we can educate and inspire others. 

The annual DC Days lobbying event by Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) happened last spring, and I joined PeaceWorks—hear me when I say this trip changed my life. New chambers of compassion opened in my heart for the unfathomable reach of nuclear violence on our planet. I was inspired by organizers across the country who are collaborating for a nuclear-free world. There was so much to learn, and I was surrounded by experts. I am so grateful for the opportunity of DC Days—and it was only made possible by PWKC, and donations. 

The ANA is raising money to help cover the cost of young people joining DC Days to learn alongside fellow organizers. They understand that financial barriers must be removed to widen the ability to access this monumental week of informative meetings and engaging strategy sessions.

Rylan Scott Keeling snaps a picture of Elena Stephenson right before Elena reads an anti-nuclear poem at the 2023 Memorial Day protest at the National Security Campus, where parts are made for nuclear weapons.–Photo by Kriss Avery

I brought a fiery passion home to my dearest friend Rylan, a leader within the poetry community. This ignited a chain reaction—and now we have the whole slam team learning about our nuclear past and present, and crafting poems that inspire folks to learn more, and take action. 

Financial support removed the hurdles that could have kept me from going to DC. I was able to learn more, share information, and now 6 other young people are interested in going to DC to take action themselves. 

Please consider giving a gift to PeaceWorks KC; support the next generation in learning how we can prevent nuclear violence and pollution in our city. Donate at https://peaceworkskc.org/donate-to-peaceworks-kc/.

It is imperative that the next generation have the opportunity to show up at our capitol and demand justice from our elected officials, while also learning from the experts most close to their local nuclear issues. Please support young folks being able to join these pivotal events. Your contribution will lift the financial burden of travel expenses from our shoulders. 

Thank you for being a supporter of PeaceWorks KC and anti-nuclear work. The next generation is committed to carrying this work forward, and with your help, we can build the nuclear-free future we all deserve. 

—Kimmy Igla serves on the PeaceWorks KC Board. © 2024, Kimmy Igla, Rylan Scott Keeling, AP, Fountain City Poets, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International License.

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