Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jovonny “JDWorldWide” Devicente is a poet, hip-hop artist and activist.
Over the years he has performed all over the Los Angeles area, including the famous performing arts theatre, Da Poetry Lounge, Los Angeles City Hall, and the internet radio program Speak and B Heard.
He wrote, directed, and starred in the documentary Police State (currently in post production). In the documentary he speaks with various people throughout Los Angeles about their social views, and interviews the creator of the Zeitgeist Film Series, Peter Joseph.
Now that Jovonny’s relocated to Sacramento, you can find him performing his music and poetry at various local venues including Old Ironsides, Queen Sheeba and Scriptorium Saturday.
His efforts as a conscious artist and thinker have not gone unnoticed, especially in the hip-hop community. His Twitter account @jdworldwide has landed follows from Public Enemy’s Professor Griff and Digital Underground.
Jovonny’s work focuses on conspiracy, philosophy, spirituality and global social issues.
He performed music and poetry at Scriptorium on Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Our inaugural L.O.V.E. Project session kicked off on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Robbie Waters Library and was a tremendous event! I wish more people could’ve heard these remarkable educators – with more than 90 combined years experience in education – share their insight into how we can serve our students as parents, teachers, and communities. If you are a parent, this event was for you as we head back into the school year.
Critical thinking is an essential component of Common Core. How often are you encouraging your children to critically think?
“To start critical thinking at home, start off with a ‘What if?’ when you’re home with your children, cooking in the kitchen, having dinner together or whatever family things you do together. Always try to pose questions to them that start off with a ‘What if?’ because they’ve got some really good ideas. They’re thinking, and you can kind of help push that out.
In tomorrow’s world when they’re at their job and working on a team, they have to be able to speak well, have very good vocabulary, and have to demonstrate what they mean. They have to get that picture that’s in their head out there in front of everybody.” – Lisa Silvera
Turn failure into success. Are you aware of what your child/children’s strengths are?
“Don’t take failure as failure. Failure is success because now you know what not to do. I tell my students you can’t fail. You cannot fail.”
“See where your child is strong.”
“Let’s focus on [students’ strengths] and try to build them up with the strengths God gave them. If we start comparing our children with somebody else, they’re going to feel like a failure because God didn’t make them like that. He made them this, and it’s a perfect you.” – Deborah Williams
Think It. Say It. Write It. Read It.: Finding Pathways to Achievement
“As far as strategies and learning to find their voice, you learn about what type of learner [students] are. Maybe they don’t read, but they can act really well, so that’s going to be a strength of theirs. So then you have them write a little play, even if you’re dictating it for them. The words they’re going to use they’re going to be able to read. That whole Anita Archer thing – if you can think it, you can say it, if you can say it, you can write it, if you write it you can read it. It’s that can-do attitude.” – Hollis Hepper
Parents want to know they are important. And that their children are, too.
“Your children buy into their teachers, which is one of the most important ingredients to pushing that child to achieve. Even with the parents, they have to feel they can trust the teachers. You’re building trust through your interaction. Just the little things that you do matter in the eyes of a parent who has nowhere else to go.
Teachers who know how to build solid relationships with their students can get almost anything they want out of those kids. And parents support that kind of learning, they support that kind of education.
What they don’t want is to feel devalued. And they don’t want their children to feel devalued. But when you feel like you’re a contributor in a classroom, a valued contributor, you feel like this is where you belong. This is a place I can learn and be successful.” – Andrea Francis
Joy is an award winning spoken word artist hailing from Oakland and Berkeley. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies from UC Berkeley and her Master of Arts degree in Education from Stanford University.
She has authored five books, and in June 2014 won third place in Oakland’s Got Talent for her spoken word piece, I’m A Survivor. In 2015, Joy was awarded Poetry Video of the Year by the National Poetry Awards for her video performance of I’m A Survivor.
Joy writes about local and national social issues, especially within the Black and disability communities.
She joined us Saturday, June 25, 2016 to give her words, poetry and wisdom!
When Christy Wade shared her poetry at the debut Scriptorium Saturday Poetry Show on Saturday, April 5, 2014, it had been five years since she’d performed any of her work on stage. But that night she returned to the mic. It was an honor to have her use the first Scriptorium Saturday event as her opportunity to re-present her work to the public.
Having written poetry since the age of fourteen, she is a well-versed poet, and is a seasoned open mic artist. From her pen comes poetry about life, love, history and social change, as well as themes geared towards encouragement and empowerment.
Hulon “The Survivor” Thompson is a poet, artist, musician and survivor. He was our featured guest at Scriptorium Saturday on September 19, 2015, and gave a courageous presentation on his life growing up in Compton, triumphing over a cancer diagnosis, his poetry that reflects personal growth into his self-made identity, and conscious art pieces. It was an evening of testimony, creative thought, and encouragement.
“I started writing raps and poetry at the age of fifteen because it was what my friends were doing at the time,” says San Francisco-born rapper and poet Terrence Thomas, “but suddenly I began to develop a sincere passion for my ability to express myself through my music and my poems. Rapping and writing poetry became my source of release and a way to get whatever was in my heart out,” he says.
This love of the craft of writing and rhyming is not only a hobby or passion for Terrence, artist name Chaziel, but is a direct reflection of how he has been revolutionized by the love of God. It was during time in prison that Terrence came into contact with the power of God in a way that transformed him spiritually and artistically.
Although he had known about the Lord all his life, it was at the age of 23 he came to accept the power of God’s grace and mercy on him in a way he had not quite done so before. Because of hardship and, more importantly, victory, he has a clear vision for the purpose of his music: to testify about the grace of God in his life and provide “common ground” to whoever is willing to give an ear to his testimony.
He describes his work as different – but different with a cause. We were glad to have Chaziel at our Poets of Faith show on June 21, 2014 to share the meaning and power of that cause with us.
*”In October of 1968, an eighteen-year-old girl was on her way to work in Watts, California, when she was struck by a Southern Pacific train as she crossed an intersection. After the train dragged her body thirty feet, amputated her right leg, and severed her left thumb, the teenager called out for Jesus and promised that, if allowed to live, she would be a witness for Him.” (*from the synopsis of “Follow Your Vision and Never Give Up!: I’m Determined to Be Someone Someday” by Barbara Sterrett)
Ms. Barbara Sterrett was our special guest at our show on August 2, 2014. She shared from her memoir, “Follow Your Vision and Never Give Up!: I’m Determined to Be Someone Someday,” and talked about a devastating train accident from over forty years ago that left her physically impaired.
When asked during the show what had pulled her through the series of obstacles she’s faced in her life, Ms. Sterrett said she had no other way to explain her endurance except faith and belief in the power of God for her life.
Husband and wife authors John and Leah Savage joined us on Saturday, April 16, 2016 to share from their motivational books, Eagles in the Midst: Overcoming the Wilderness and Married to Love. Centered on love, healing, restoration, self-identity and testimony.
Eagles in the Midst, authored by John Savage, is born of God to encourage your heart and bring clarity to the path of life you now walk. No matter what your current circumstances are, God wants to give you fresh hope and meet you right where you’re at – this very moment. In the midst of John’s personal pain and struggles in life, God has continued to meet and exceed his every need.
Married to Love, authored by Leah Savage, is Leah’s personal testimony of being married to Christ, who is Love. It is her story of intimacy with Him, and His work of transformation and illumination in and through her.
At our July 25, 2015 event, Robert Prather shared a presentation on his art and cartoons, along with a special presentation on his first comic book, “Grand Soulful Gent.” He spoke about his journey to becoming an artist, his influences, the significance of music and MC Hammer to his work, and much more about the artist’s life.
Shaun Parker is a hip-hop artist, lyricist and poet born in San Jose but raised in Sac-Town, a graduate of Pleasant Grove High School, and soon-to-be-graduate of our own California State University, Sacramento. At the ripe age of nine, he began putting his pen to the pad in the form of poetry, which has ultimately developed into a passion for music. Having been inspired by his Aunt Jacque who was in an R & B group in the 80s, and hip-hop icons such as N.W.A., Rakim, Public Enemy, Kanye West, and Kendrick Lamar, music has become that creative place Shaun has made his home as an artist.
He sees his work as lyrical, in-depth, purposeful, progressive, and with a retrospect on life. At our debut show on Saturday, April 5, 2015, he gave us a spoken word interpretation of his musical lyrics.
Francesca Elizabeth is an emerging jazz artist based out of Sacramento, California. Her passionate and soulful style of music is influenced by such female artists as Billie Holiday and India Arie. She desires to share a message of hope with her listeners. She has a passion for music that began as a young child singing in her local church choir. Her message is delivered by means of acoustic guitar, which she has played for the past 7 years.
She performed a beautiful medley of song and reflection at our show on April 11, 2015.
Jen Palmares Meadows is a Pinay American writer living in the Sacramento, California area. Her work has appeared in such publications as Brevity, The Rumpus, Denver Quarterly, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, Memoir Journal, Kartika Review, Essay Daily, Tayo, Live Science, and other places. Jen earned her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and her MA in Creative Writing from California State University, Sacramento.
The daughter of Philippine immigrants, Jen grew up in a southern California suburb on a street where all the houses were peach in a home with a big brown van parked out front. She writes about motherhood, family, duality, faith, and sexuality. In her essays, she strives to create ‘beneficent nonfiction,’ that is, truthful writing with a positive purpose and a use.
Jen joined us on Saturday, March 5, 2016 to share some of her new work with us.
Born and raised in South Sacramento, artist Dan Ligaya was raised by Filipino-immigrant parents who migrated to Sacramento in the 1980s. After being inspired by the artistic abilities of people in his family, Ligaya began composing abstract art during his sophomore year of high school. Eventually he transitioned into landscape and impressionistic art, before delving into political work and developing an interest in portraits. Today, Ligaya sees his artistic portfolio as an integration of photography, videography, and investigative journalism. Ligaya shared his original paintings, his photography from his trip to Kenya, and a short documentary of his trip to Africa at our show on Saturday, January 9, 2016.
Family. Family serves as the inspiration for why Mrs. Ida Francis began writing poetry in her twenties. It all began at family gatherings, where Mrs. Francis took on the task of writing poems on members of the family. She says poetry is a matter of telling stories, and that the communication of poetry, itself, can tell people what poetry can do – and so perhaps inspire people to begin their own journeys of writing.
Though having been in Sacramento, now, for quite some time, Mrs. Francis is a Southerner through and through. She was born in Madison County, Mississippi and attended colleges in Little Rock, Arkansas, before making her way to Sacramento, California in 1953 to live with her Aunt and Uncle, who attended a fellowship called Kyle’s Temple African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. After her arrival, Mrs. Francis joined her Aunt and Uncle in attending, too, and the rest is …present. She has become, what she calls, a “fixture” at Kyle’s Temple, graciously serving as secretary for well over half a century.
In Mrs. Francis’ life of service, the pen plays an important role – both professionally as a secretary and personally as a poet. She is a prolific writer of words of love, laughter, and inspiration in the midst of those she loves towards those she loves – including the ones she performed to at the Scriptorium Saturday show on May 17, 2014.
Alvin Jefferson III, ART III, is a young man with a heart for knowing and growing in God, and is a growing artist as well. He’s learning and coming into form as a musician and artist, and has a desire to continue building on his work and vision as he grows as an artist in the Lord. He performed at our Poets of Faith II event in 2014.
For our February 21, 2015 Black History Month show, 88-year-young T.R. Francis gave us a special presentation full of reflections and historical insight. The show was full of love and perspective as we listened to his words and the words of those who have been impacted by incredible life!
It was the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes that inspirited Ty Alovera to begin her journey as a writer in the seventh grade. Though, for nearly three decades after that time, she used music as her expression of choice as a traveling musician, she would find herself turning back to poetry as a way to recovery after her own personal tragedy. In poetry, she has discovered the groundwork of her restoration and rehabilitation, has found the written word to be her essential place of creation and performance. Born in Florida, raised in Oregon, instrumentalizing and vocalizing from Alaska to Arizona, and now poeticizing in Sacramento, California, she is a well-traveled person and artist. She is mother & grandmother, lover of children & of animals, harpist, guitarist, vocalist…. & poet.