Jose Pinto Stephen
New York City: Ramya Ramana is the 2014 New York City Youth Poet Laureate. She is an artist, lover of mankind and a strong believer of God. She aspires to be a social and political activist advocating for human rights, social equality, and fighting against injustices. She is a first year student at St. John’s University in Queens and she is currently studying philosophy, government and politics. She was awarded a full scholarship through the Knicks Poetry Slam program. Though she is a well-known poet and a powerful voice for a social change she says this about herself, “ I am a nervous wreck. I shake every time I perform. I’m always in fear that I will mess up or forget the words.” Ramya was selected as New York City youth poet laureate 2014 because of her two poems. ‘Miss America’ and ‘It is not your problem”. She wrote the poem ‘Miss America’ as a response to the racist Twitter backlash following Nina Davuluri’s victory at the Miss America 2014 pageant. She explains why she wrote that poem, “I wrote the poem for Nina, so it would be my dream for the poem to reach to Ms. Davuluri and to have the opportunity to perform it in front of her or be able to have a conversation with her.”
Ramya is a very strong believer of God and she says, “I believe God wants me to speak for them and be the voice for the voiceless so I plan on dedicating my book to the oppressed and to a dear friend of mine, Francine Hendrickson, who has taught me a lot about internal beauty and selflessness.” She owes all the credits of her achievements to God and opinioned as,’ I’ve been to a variety of different schools throughout my high school years and was not expected to even graduate, so to see God’s power manifest in my life is truly humbling and convicting.” And she added,” Our project’s goal is to uplift and encourage those people and shed light on the fact that no matter where we are or where the people around us are, God will always be inside of you and will never lose the love He has for you.” At Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Sworn in ceremony Ramya was invited to recite her song ‘New York City’ “New York City,” she began. “Not lights, not Broadway, not Times Square. It is single mother donating her last meals worth of money to church. It is the faith in the heart that makes a dead dream worth resurrecting. It is coffee-colored children playing hopscotch on what is left of a sidewalk. It is chalk outlined, colonized map on a street as dark as the bones of the dead.” You can see her reciting her Poetry “New York City “ in the video posted on the bottom of this news. The video is only 2.29 minutes.
Within that very short time she explained what is the so-called New York City and what it is not and what it should be. That was a very powerful speech. She talked about inequality, injustices and the evilness of classism and indirectly the evilness of racism. In her poem ‘Miss America’ she strongly protested against the practice of racism still in some people’s mind. As Youth Poet Laureate, Ramya will work with the CFB's voter education campaign, NYC Votes, to reach young voters across the five boroughs, promoting voting and civic engagement at public events, programs and peer-to-peer engagement activities. Over its five-year history, the YPL program has delivered a positive voting message to tens of thousands of young New Yorkers through performances, speeches, voter registration drives, and neighborhood outreach." The New York City Youth Poet Laureate program is sponsored by NYC Votes and the award-winning youth development organization Urban Word NYC, where she is a member of their Youth Leadership Board. Ramya gives back to her community through various service projects and plans to pursue a career as a community organizer and activist advocating for human rights and social justice.
Watch the video http://nyti.ms/19JLpP1