“Walking the Distance of Your Vision.” Every neighborhood possesses sounds, smells, sights, and characters. Yet, often we bustle down the block taking those elements for granted, oblivious to change all around us. By using the senses and an understanding of the community around you and “Verse journalism” writing techniques created by Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks, you find you have the power to change the world, starting with your own block.
Poet and author Quraysh Ali Lansana leads students through this essay/exercise, empowering students to see their neighborhood and neighbors through a different lens. By examining where a poem takes place–with natural ties to social justice issues–students may examine together how geography and topography inform self, relations, and more, through both individual and classroom/community inquiry for all to experience.