PrintSPEAKout — a Spoken Word Slam hits UTM on November 20. Hosted by the SPEAKout team in collaboration with UTMSU, it offers budding poets a chance to showcase their talents and sound off on a different topics.

SPEAKouts aim is to promote positive social action and local talent. We want to present the art of the spoken word as a form of entertainment that is a tad different from what mainstream media offers us today. It is our attempt to give back to the Canadian community and to keep the poetic tradition alive, said coordinator Besma Soltan.

SPEAKout is a branch of LifeMakers Canada, an organization that strives to cultivate better understanding and awareness of significant social, cultural and youth-related issues. Formed ten months ago as a media-related project through which values can be promoted, SPEAKout aspires to integrate youths into Canadian culture.

We truly care about our poets. We promote them and we support them, said Soltan. The first SPEAKout competition, held at Ryerson University on July 24, gave away a hefty first place cash prize of $500. In addition, poets who contended for top prizes had a chance to perform at MuslimFest, a festival that features the best of Muslim arts and entertainment.  Although the core of the SPEAKout team is comprised of Muslims, the organization hopes to expand by recruiting a diverse group of members. Future projects include a television show as well as other charitable endeavours that will build ties and foster peace and harmony among all Canadian subcultures.  SPEAKout is the grand finale of UTMSUs eXpression Against Oppression Week. Tickets for SPEAKout are available online, at the info booth in the Student Centre, and at the door for $10.