“I believe art is utterly important. It is one of the things that could save us.” -- Mary Oliver

This year, to celebrate National Poetry Month, HRC asked young people nationwide to write poems about what equality means to them, and to share them with us -- and you. And they didn't disappoint. From rhyming poems to free verse, they opened their hearts about equality, their hopes and dreams for a better world, the heroes who inspire them, and so much more!  

Founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, poets and communities coming together to celebrate poetry’s essential place in our lives.

HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program has harnessed the power of poetry in our lesson plans to help children share and explore issues they are passionate about, to make connections around social justice and to build inclusive communities by learning about and celebrating one another.

This month, we are excited to share on our website and social media platforms some of these poems and others written by incredible young people.

Differences by AD

It does not  matter if you are different
because we are all people
no matter the color
the gender
we need to treat the people well
no matter what
DON’T HATE
 it’s ok to be different

Throughout April, we will also be sharing LGBTQ poets who inspire us, and the ways in which poetry can be an agent for social change.

We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the talent, the humor, the compassion and the open hearts of our nation’s young people who understand that love is love is love is love and that it’s amazing to be just who you are.  As acclaimed LGBTQ poet and advocate Audre Lorde wrote, poetry “lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.” These children are the future of our country and our world, and it’s a future of love, hope, and welcome.

As you read with us, if you feel so inspired, write and share something of your own! As Michelle Obama says, “You don't have to be a renowned artist like Q-Tip to try your hand at poetry. You don't need any special equipment - that's the beauty of it.”

For more about HRC Foundation’s work improving school climate, and to read one of our lesson plans, you can visit http://www.welcomingschools.org/resources/lesson-plans.

HRC Foundation's Welcoming Schools is the nation's premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to:

  • Welcome diverse families;
  • Create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools;
  • Prevent bias-based bullying;
  • Support transgender and non-binary students

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