Looking Back on 2019, Moving Forward to 2020

Shaniqua gives an insight into the final YPI event of 2019, when we were Looking Back, Moving Forward

The last month of the year means that it’s time look back and move forward, which is what we did on the 17th December when The Kickback and Poetic Insight combined at Project B.  It was a really lovely event to end the year on, with thoughtful conversation and beautiful poetry from old and new faces.

We started with The Kickback element, as I asked everyone (who could) to share their favourite thing about YPI this year and what they think worked best.  The Kickback was definitely the common consensus, with Elisha calling it “good” and “really tense”.  More in depth responses included:

  • I always love The Kickback, because I love the conversations and opinions.  I think the different insights are good. – Rhianna
  • Love how engaging the topics seem this year… Finally, something I feel I’m not going to get judged or stereotyped on. – Samirah
  • I think it’s amazing to meet people I’ve never met before in my life. – Elisha
  • It’s a comfortable, intimate environment. – Manj

I then wanted to find out which topics at The Kickback had the most effect on those that had come.  Elisha said Youth Violence, “because it may help young people come off the streets and do better with themselves.”  I said Concept of Race, because I realised that race goes so much deeper than the colour of skin and that the ideas of race have such a significant effect on us.  This led on to another mini conversation about the concept of race, as Samirah spoke about her feelings regarding race.

Rhianna found Social Expectations most interesting, because of the activity we started with and how much of our lives are impacted by society.  Samirah was most affected by Goals, because “I thought about where I’m gonna be after I graduate,” and Youth Violence, “because school was very hard – whenever there was a stabbing, you’re not going to school.”

When I asked what could have been improved on, no one had anything to say, which was really lovely, although it unnerved me a little because I always like to be critiqued so I can improve.  However, this meant that I could move on from looking back to moving forward, which I started by speaking about the significant changes that will be taking place within YPI next year (I will be writing a post with more detail about this over the next few weeks).

One way that we are moving forward is with the introduction of a podcast, so I asked what they would want to see talked about and focused on.  Suggested topics were:

  • Bargains
  • A YPI centric podcast
  • Relationships, including unhealthy relationships and abuse within relationships
  • Finding the right people
  • Finding yourself and authenticity
  • Music, including drill, competition in music and religion & music
  • Dangers of getting too involved in an industry

My final question, as it always is at this particular event, is how those in attendance would like to get involved with YPI next year.  There were offers of write ups, collaboration and general support in any way that could be given.

Following on from The Kickback segment, it was time for Poetic Insight to close out the night with creativity.  Elisha came to the mic first, speaking about his new subject, Social Media, which emphasised how careful we need to be when sharing pictures.

It was lovely to welcome Script Index back after a little while, who drew us all in with his typically beautiful poetry and stage presence, performing a poem called Truth.

Next was first timer to Poetic Insight, and first time performer, Benjamin, who dropped a real powerful poem full of political imagery called The Hefty Weight.  He was followed by Samirah, who shared three beautiful poems that help her get over her writer’s block by poets that have inspired her.

I closed the night with two YPI inspired poems.  First was Manna from Heaven, which I wrote about the beautiful people in my life especially for Poetic Insight: Family & Friends.  Then I performed Mixed in a Dutch Pot, a new poem I wrote after being inspired by the Concept of Race conversation at The Kickback.

All that’s left to say now is a big thank you to everyone who came out not only on Tuesday, but to any of the YPI events throughout the year.  I also want to thank anyone who has written a blog post or read anything on the blog, and interacted with YPI on social media or through the newsletter.  I appreciate you very much, as I could not make any of this happen without you.

Have a lovely festive break and a very happy new year.  Look out for news on YPI’s 2020 activities.

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