The Philly Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides a safe space for Philadelphia’s youth to discover the power of their voices through poetry and spoken word. Founded in 2006, PYPM offers literary arts education programs for youth ages 13-19 to promote critical literacy, creative expression, life skills and leadership. By using their voices, youth cultivate personal and social transformation.
Gregory Corbin, Founder and Executive Director
Lincoln University graduate and Philadelphia native, Gregory Corbin Jr., is the Founder and Executive Director of Philly Youth Poetry Movement. He is an award-winning international poet, motivational speaker, activist, teacher, and humanitarian. With over ten years of extensive classroom and community experience mentoring and educating youth, Corbin seeks to close generation gaps and foster healthy communication within communities.
Corbin is an accomplished artist who has performed from South Carolina to South Africa. He has shared stages with India Arie, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Sonia Sanchez and many other powerful artists. Corbin has been featured at schools, conferences, and festivals. He has discussed youth advocacy and empowerment on TED talks, HBO, CNN, CSPAN, BET and other networks. He is the recipient of the Knight Foundation’s BMe award.
Corbin currently serves on the Mayor’s Commission for African America Males, along with the Poet Laureate and Youth Poet Laureate Commission. He is dedicated to providing youth with the tools for becoming lifelong learners, self-advocates, and agents of social change who will shape the future. Corbin believes that when we invest in the voices of the youth, we are in turn investing in the voices of the future.
Cait (Miner) Kay, Program Director
Cait (Miner) Kay has been an educator in the School District of Philadelphia since 2008. In addition to her work at PYPM, she currently teaches English and Creative Writing at the Academy at Palumbo, a Philadelphia Magnet High School. She is the proud coach of Palumbo’s slam poetry team that competes in PYPM’s Slam League. In 2012, she was a presenter at the Global Social Work Student Conference. She is a strong proponent of arts in education and the transformative power of poetry.
Perry DiVirgilio (Vision), Artistic Director
Perry “Vision” DiVirgilio, is an award-winning poet, mentor, host, and educator. A North Philadelphia native, he is the coach of the PYPM Youth Slam Team, who won the world championship at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in 2011. As an artist, he is part of Spoken Soul 215, which hosts The Harvest, the largest spoken word event in the tri-state area. He has shared stages with Saul Williams, The Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, Ursula Rucker, Tank, Joe, KRS-1 and Doug E. Fresh. A mentor to countless Philadelphia youth both on and off the stage, “Vision” facilitates poetry workshops throughout the tri-state area and is committed to helping young people develop into their full potential. He was also featured on Soledad O’Brien’s Black In America documentary in 2012.
Matthew Kay, Slam League Coordinator
Matthew Rosamond Kay is the founder and coordinator of the PYPM Slam League, which is set to begin its fifth season on February 20, 2015. Additionally, he is one of the founding staff of Science Leadership Academy (SLA), an inquiry-driven, project-based, Philadelphia magnet school where the core values of inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, and reflection are emphasized across the curriculum. SLA, on 22nd and Arch streets, is a partnership between the Franklin Institute and the School District of Philadelphia. Matthew also serves as SLA’s Athletic Director and Varsity Boys Basketball Coach. He is passionate about changing kids’ lives through both education and the arts.
Kavindu Jointe, International Team Co-Coach
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Philadelphia, Kavindu “Kavi” Jointe is a poet, activist, and teaching artist. Kavi has been involved with the Philly Youth Poetry Movement since 2009. He was a two time member of the Philadelphia Youth Poetry team that competed at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam in 2009 & 2010. After aging out of the youth slam circuit he transitioned into the role of Mentor and Slam Coach at PYPM. He is also the Slam Coach of Temple University’s slam team that will compete at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. He has had the privilege of performing at conferences and colleges across the United States. Kavindu is a graduate of Hamline University where he majored in Social Justice with a concentration on Art for Social Change & Gender Justice. He believes in the sustainable power of youth voice.
Corey McDonough, PYPM Media Specialist
Corey McDonough is PYPM’s media specialist who is well versed in video, audio, and photography. Along with PYPM, Corey currently works at The Morning Call in Allentown, PA as an visuals production assistant. When Corey isn’t putting together amazing storylines for PYPM videos, he can be found whipping up culinary delights from his own garden.
Kevana Nixon, Staff Therapist
More information forthcoming
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
- David Gloss
- Tony Payton Jr.
- Nonya Collier
- Jeff Pulver