Monday, September 27, 2021

A smiling young Black woman wearing glasses, dark curly hair, and a black top with embroidered floral sleeves.

Americans for the Arts is thrilled to collaborate with Alora Young, the 2021 Youth Poet Laureate for the Southern United States, as our 2021 Ambassador for National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM). Alora will use her platform throughout the month of October to share her love of the humanities and arts with the public as we celebrate the power of culture in communities across the nation.

Alora’s dreams of being a poet began at age 2 and took off when she wrote her first poem at age 7, “Stars of Sorrow See You Tomorrow,” to express sadness over her family’s move from New Jersey to Nashville, Tennessee. “From that point on I have been sharing my poetry with [my parents] as a form of communication and we have developed a stronger relationship because of it,” she says. 

In high school, Alora began to advocate for greater equity in education. Her mentorship program AboveGround aims to increase accessibility of advanced academics to students of color, inspired by her own experiences in advanced classes that lacked diversity. “I hope I can help children of color to believe they can be exceptional,” she says. In recognition of her activism, Alora has received both the Princeton Prize in Race Relations and the Rising Advocate Award from Tennessee United for Human Rights.

You can follow Alora on Instagram @aloraofficielle to see her entries in the #ShowYourArt2021 NAHM Instagram challenge. Keep watching this exceptional young poet as she embarks on a college career at Swarthmore College and works on a new novel to publish soon!

Photo of Alora Young by Ambriehl Crutchfield.