E66 Read Into Poetry, Stories and the Power of Representation

By Alanna King

Beth speaks with Wali Shah who is a spoken word poet, author, Tedx speaker and advocate for education. Wali speaks about the community that school provides and the changes that students are experiencing due to COVID and our current pandemic situation. Wali recounts his experience in high school when his teacher introduced him to a book of poetry and saw the potential in his abilities. He attributes his success and passion for writing to his interaction with this teacher and the book of poetry he was given to read. They discuss the importance of sharing culturally responsive texts with students that allow the students to see themselves in the characters and authors they are exploring. Wali shares about the book he is working on with author Eric Walters and the appreciation he has for the opportunity to learn with and from Eric as they collaborate on this new book. The book will allow students who connect with the immigrant experience and growing up as a Muslim to see themselves in a book written by an author who looks like them and understands their lived experience.

Books Mentioned in this Episode-
The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur
Damn Good Advice for People with Talent by George Lois


Shout out to Eric Walters @EricRWalters