Roots, Rhythm & Rhyme in the Juvenile Justice System
Above pictures are of Global Education Center staff and teaching artists training Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center staff.
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Global Education Center's Roots, Rhythm & Rhyme Restorative Justice and the Arts project was first piloted in the Spring of 2017 through awarded PIP funds from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission. The program was designed to inspire youth in the Juvenile Justice Center to find an art form that enables him or her to express frustrations, sorrows, anger, humor and joy in a positive, self-affirming manner in hopes to prevent recidivism and to foster better decision making and expressive outlets.
As an extension of our already popular Roots, Rhythm & Rhyme Youth Programming, this initiative is allowing Global Education Center to reach marginalized youth caught up in the juvenile justice system, many of whom are vulnerable to entering the adult prison system. We have curated programming that is culturally based to teach historical, cultural and social information that can address common struggles of minority and indigenous communities and help youth garner strength, empathy and social-emotional health.
Programs in the detention center include:
Students explore various dance styles, including tap, contemporary, majorette as well as choreography to help students express themselves through movement, gestures and creativity.
Research has shown the physiological and psychological benefits of therapeutic drumming and that learning complex drum patterns and building intricate rhythms can improve thinking and academic skills.
Yoga, Mindfulness & Movement
Yoga is a powerful tool that has been proven to help shape the young and often stressed-out minds of today. Benefits can include improved test scores, self-esteem, physical performance, and a healthy body image. These benefits bear more weight for the youth that we serve and the particular struggles that they experience.
Studio recording can help youth express and share their feelings while also allowing social stimulation, cognitive stimulation, stress management and sensory environment stimulation. As this program grows, we hope to expand our studio recording and create a system by which incarcerated youth can share their music with family, friends and the larger community.
Programs for youth and families after release from the detention center include continuation of the above activities as well as participation in any of our ongoing classes for children, teens and adults, such as, to name a few: (Check out our class pages for a complete listing)
Capoeira is a creative and effective tool for developing balance, coordination, flexibility, and an awareness of one's own body. Its use of music, song, dance and acrobatics motivates youth to participate. This activity also builds self esteem and helps to develop a sense of identity as a member of a larger community while learning about Capoeira's powerful force for overcoming oppression and building resilience.
Zumba® is not just a fitness regime but a creative cultural outlet of dynamic dance moves. Benefits include improved coordination, family fun, increased self-confidence, building of leadership skills, and improved memory, creativity and imagination.
African and Afro Latin Dance and Drumming
African dance and drumming are great ways to learn about the history and cultures of The Motherland while engaging in fun and powerful creative expression that enables us to release energy, relieve stress, and engage in community, all while experiencing the rhythms and traditions of Afro Latin Diaspora.
Family Fitness Fun
These fun family nights are offered at area branch libraries, churches and community organizations, specifically targeting families of court-involved youth but open to all. During a two hour session, participants will enjoy mini classes in yoga and mindfulness, Zumba®, Pound Fit®, Afrobeats, Capoeira, Latin dance, and world percussion.
This fun activity is designed to keep incarcerated youth connected to their parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members. Families can create beats and lyrics with one another both on visitation days at the detention center as well as off-site at one of the Global Education Center's locations. For the off-site part of the project, family members can create beats and lyrics to share with their incarcerated youth and vice versa, with youth and their families adding to each others' creations as a way to work together to express their feelings and emotions, as a way to have fun as a family.
The Nest Workshops
The Nest Workshops are designed for mothers and grandmothers of court-involved youth. They are a series of creativity sessions designed and facilitated by Thandiwe Shiphrah in which participants can choose to create a self-discovery journal or a family keepsake journal using various journaling and writing techniques. Combined with fun art-making experiences using gesso, paint, collage, and mixed-media techniques, participants can fill a repurposed binder with their reflections, letters, drawings, photos, and other personal embellishments, all with a hope of building community in a safe, fun and nurturing environment.
Our goal for this project is to use the arts to reduce the rate of recidivism among affected youth as well as to bring them a bit of joy while developing coping skills. We are collaborating with the staff of the Nashville Davidson County Juvenile Court to continually measure and respond to the needs of the youth that we serve. We hope to expand this program to reach more children and their families to help insure a better and brighter future. Programming for 2019-2020 is made possible with support from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Metro Arts, and Cross-Sector Impact funding from South Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.
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If you would like to know more about the Roots, Rhythm & Rhyme Restorative Justice and the Arts project, how you can support it or how your organization can be a part of it, please click the link below.
Support for this program comes from Metro Nashville Arts Commission. Restorative Justice and the Arts is a collaboration between Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Juvenile Justice Center, Oasis Center and various arts organizations and individual artists and is funded through Mayor Megan Barry’s Public Investment Plan (PIP) initiative with additional funding support from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.