Sister Souljah is the author of 5 national best sellers. In 2007 she became a New York Times Best Selling author and has since charted in the top ten of the NYT list three times. She has penned The Coldest Winter Ever (fiction), which has sold two million copies to date, and Midnight, A Gangster Love Story (fiction), Midnight and The Meaning Of Love, (fiction), A Deeper Love Inside; The Porsche Santiaga Story (fiction) and NO DISRESPECT, (non fiction), all best sellers. On November 10th, 2015, her newest novel, titled; A Moment Of Silence, MIDNIGHT III will be published wherever books are sold.
JBG Life Series Conference is an interdisciplinary conference for students grades 9-12 that will foster creativity, leadership and promote ethical citizenship. This event supports our shared commitment with TDSB towards creating equitable & inclusive schools. This learning experience is open to all TDSB students. We are encouraging english and drama classes to attend this workshop.
The conference is centred around author Sister Souljah’s best selling book “The Coldest Winter Ever”. Workshops will embody the themes and lessons from the book; Sister Souljah will address the students in a 45 minute intimate discussion around “The Coldest Winter Ever” as well her new book “A Moment Of Silence, MIDNIGHT III”. She will share some of her stories, life lessons, wisdom and answer questions from students. Teachers will also have an opportunity to share time with Sister Souljah to discuss themes, lessons and teaching strategies as it relates to her books. (Teachers are encouraged to read the book(s) and come prepared with questions)
Using a hip hop pedagogy, the workshops aim to inspire thoughts and conversation that will allow students to critically analyze concepts of poverty, sexuality, stereotypes, family and community. The workshops will use hands on activities, drama, poetry and presentations to bring conversations to new heights.
All of the workshops are based on the lesson plans provided to teachers to aid in continuing the conversations and learning. The lesson plan kit includes:
Short Essay Questions
Short Answer Questions
Worksheets and Evaluation Forms
Creative Writing – Spoken Word (75 mins)
NarrativeZ is a workshop designed to encourage youth of generation Z to change their narrative. The old narrative of being the “lost” generation or a generation of no leaders will be re-written as the generation of evolution, courage and leadership. This workshop will be lead by spoken word artist and community leader – Paulina O’Kieffe, who has built her organization – Guerrilla of the Word which empowers youth through spoken word, poetry and creative writing.
This workshop will have students break out into smaller groups to begin scribing the first chapter of their narrative. At the send of this workshop, students will be encouraged to present their writings during the conference closing ceremonies.
Drama – Improv Stage Acting (75 mins)
Imagine you could stop time to make a pivotal decision that could change the course of your future? This workshop is designed to question our decisions and bring them to life through a very modern approach using dramatic arts. Students will be encouraged to jump in and out of live scenes and attempt to change the fate of that particular scene. This unique approach creates a space where time is paused to allow for deeper analytical thought and higher order thinking that allows us to discern the deeper impacts of our choices.
After taking part in this drama workshop, students will discuss the various factors that affect our ability to make decisions, we will discuss concepts of values, stereotypes, stress and poverty. Students will be encouraged to pick one of the scenes to reenact at the conference closing ceremonies.
Understanding various viewpoints is an essential component to dealing with daily issues and major crises. Developing the ability to consider various perspectives allow you to analyze the world and the many things that could be influencing your current situation.
This workshop dives into the variety of viewpoints and situations that Winter has found herself in. The workshop will challenge students to tell Winter’s story from multiple view points. During this process, students will analyze the outcomes of her actions and draw similarities within their lives.
The aim of this workshop is to encourage students to have deep thought and be cognizant that the world they co-habit is not exclusively theirs. As such they need to take into consideration other people viewpoints that may be foreign to their own.
The concepts of me versus the world, us versus them, and individual versus society can be very convoluted and extremely difficult to navigate at times; however, it is a common theme amongst people of all ages, especially young adults. Winter is a prime example of how the battle between those concepts tore her apart and broke her down as she struggled to find a place in society. This workshop pushes the conversation of which society or societies we (the student) identify with and where does that society fit in our world?
This workshop is designed to be very interactive, students will break into groups forming coalitions that represent different societies. Each group will have to form arguments around why or why not Winter is a valuable member of our greater society.
Afterward students will reflect and break down each arguments posed by each coalition. We will dissect the integrity of the arguments, and identify tones of racism, stereotypes, stigmas, prejudices and ignorance. We will connect the discussion to our modern world and see how our activities mirrors our society.
Sister Souljah will spend time with our teachers; decoding some of the themes in her books and unpack the concepts and teachable lessons for their classrooms. Teachers will steer the conversation based on their individual need and interests.. Teachers are encouraged to read the book – The Coldest Winter Ever prior to attending this workshop.
Kayode Brown is known for his unique hybrid approach to arts education using a Hip Hop pedagogy and curriculum based programming. As the Executive Director and visionary behind Just BGRAPHIC Inc, Kayode has built numerous arts based programs for students grades 6-12. His current partnership with the TDSB, now allows him to continue his mandate to deliver high quality arts based programming while revolutionizing the arts education sector.