SSF 2018 Featured Poets Florida Freedom Writers


The Viking Freedom Writers Creative Writing Club and the Florida Freedom Writers Foundation began in the classroom of Ms. Precious Symonette where she inspired her students to use their voices to make a change in their community. During class and after school, students learn and practice writing different types of literary genres. The mission of the Viking Freedom Writers is to give a voice to the voiceless. They aspire to combat societal illnesses by “writing” them to death throughout the city of Miami Gardens and throughout the world. With each of their performances, they have done just that. Some of the noble causes that these students have performed and conducted writing workshops for are One Billion Rising-Human Trafficking Rally, Powerhouse Domestic Violence Rally, Relay for Life, Juvenile Justice Center, Teen Life Maze, Lotus House and the United States Attorney’s Office. In addition, this award-winning group are the reigning state champions of the Louder Than a Bomb competition, The Dranoff 2 Piano Slam Competition, Young Arts, Young Talent Big Dreams, and the Theodore Gibson Oratorical competition. What is even more inspiring is that this group has been awarded and recognized by the city of Miami Gardens, Greater Miami, and the Miami-Dade County School Board.

Kayla Brooklyn Williams-Viking Freedom Writers

Chaniya Wilson-Viking Freedom WritersNi'ja Sweetness Maxwell

Team members: Kayla “Brooklyn” Williams, Chaniya Wilson, and Nija Ni’ja Maxwell



Here is just a sample a solo poets – we cant wait to see them as team poets!

Kayla “Brooklyn” Williams – MIRACLES

Nija “Sweetness” Maxwell CHANGES

Whether she's hosting a spoken word event, music festival, or playing the role of a santera or vixen, Deborah Magdalena makes every emotion super real. This performance artist has acquired impressive TV & Film credits for the past twenty years including Sesame Street (CTW), Apollo Comedy Hour (Tribune Entertainment), Safe Harbor (Warner Brothers), Striptease (Castle Rock), Holyman (Caravan), and For Love or Country (HBO). As a published spoken word artist Deborah has released three CDs, a chapbook, and the spoken word musical FUNKdalena. As an artist-activist she’s the founder of Spoken Soul Festival, a twelve year old, three-day festival that helps women artists go from novice to professionals. As an educator Deborah for the past eight years has led in-school presentations in numerous high schools for the National YoungArts Foundation, is the co-founder of Piano Slam, and led various workshops for local art organizations like Miami Light Project and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Most recently and for the seventh year in a row, she was invited by the Arsht Center and Ailey Arts & Education Foundation to serve as the Creative Communication instructor for Ailey Camp Miami.

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