by Kristin Lems with Introduction by Susan J. Erenrich
30 April 2020
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This Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change column is penned by long-time troubadour of conscience Kristin Lems. In “Louder Than a Bomb: Poetry Slams and Community Activism Create a Powerful Brew,” Kristin discusses the roots of Chicago’s youth poetry slam, Chance the Rapper (a recent graduate of the Young Chicago writing workshops), and her experience as a judge at LTAB. The article is introduced by column editor Susan J. Erenrich.
Kristin Lems is a Full Professor of ESL/Bilingual Education at National Louis University, Chicago. She has published and edited many books and articles on topics related to languages and literacy, and in particular, about using music and the arts to teach languages and literacy. As a performing songwriter and folksinger, she has released 8 CDs of original songs on her own label, Carolsdatter Productions, and one of her songs is part of the new Smithsonian Institution collection, The Social Power of Music (Smithsonian/Folkways, 2019). Her current project is an original musical about the relationship between Jane Addams and Kristin’s great grandmother in the opening years of Hull House, America’s first settlement house, in 1890’s Chicago. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan (Susie) J. Erenrich is a social movement history documentarian. She uses the arts for social change to tell stories about transformational leadership, resilience, and societal shifts as a result of mobilization efforts by ordinary citizens. Susie holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University and is the founder/executive director of the Cultural Center for Social Change. She has more than four decades of experience in nonprofit/arts administration, civic engagement, community service, and community organizing and has taught at universities, public schools, and community-based programs for at-risk, low-income populations. Currently a professor at American University, she is the editor of The Cost Of Freedom: Voicing A Movement After Kent State 1970; Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: An Anthology of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement and Grassroots Leadership & the Arts for Social Change (a volume in ILA’s BLB series). She is the producer/host of Wasn’t That A Time: Stories & Songs That Moved The Nation, a live community radio broadcast on WERA.FM. Listen on-demand or live every Friday from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern time.