The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word is a group of African-American males ages 8-18 who study the art of performance poetry. These gentlemen take classic poetry pieces, movement poetry (mime/breaking/ flexing) and combine it with the art of spoken word.
Poetry has become the living tool that they use to help keep them focused and on the right path in school, at home, and within the community.
They've had some setbacks on their way-- attacks, losing money to a tailor who takes the money but doesn't deliver, working against social and institutional barriers... not even to mention the work it takes to raise $10,000 to get to France. (But they did!) Now they're lionized in Lyon.--(from their website)
The Cleveland-based performance troupe was founded more than 12 years ago by poet, teacher and youth-advocate Honey Bell-Bey.
Can poetry change the world? I don't know. But here are some young poets who are going to try.