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The Beat Within

Writing Workshop w/ David Inocencio, Michael Kroll & Kevin Gentry

Wednesday, July 18


Since 1996, The Beat Within (TBW) has been providing incarcerated youth in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond with creative writing workshops that encourages literacy, self-expression, critical thinking skills and healthy, supportive relationships with compassionate adults. We engage youth in meaningful discussions, help them compose thoughtful pieces and publish writing and art in our bi-monthly magazine. For over twenty years, TBW has provided incarcerated, high-risk, at-risk youth with the unique opportunity through the power of the written word and visual arts to reflect, heal, grow and thrive in the face of confinement, trauma, stress, and violence.

TBW’s mission is to provide incarcerated youth with consistent opportunities to share their ideas and life experiences in a safe space that encourages literacy, self-expression, critical thinking skills and healthy, supportive relationships with adults from their community. Outside of the juvenile justice system, The Beat Within partners with community organizations and individuals to bring resources to youth both inside and outside of detention. We are committed to being an effective bridge between youth who are locked up and the community that aims to support their progress towards a healthy, non-violent and productive life. 

Today, TBW staff and volunteers serve over 5,000 youth annually through workshops operated across California county juvenile halls in San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Yolo, Riverside, and Los Angeles. Outside of California, Beat workshops occur in New Mexico, Oregon, Michigan, Montana and in Louisiana. The Beat Within has partnered with education and criminal justice programs at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, San Francisco State, California College of the Arts, the University of Hawaii, the University of Redlands, Portland State University and University of New Orleans.

The Beat Within is a Member of Intersection for the Arts. Intersection is recognized for its commitment to emphasizing the process of art-making and to cultivating opportunities for artists and communities to come together to imagine and create new cultural experiments that aim to transform our world. Intersection is San Francisco’s oldest alternative arts space, providing fiscal sponsorship, networking, consulting and presenting opportunities to artists. 

Through over 20 years of unique one-of-a-kind programming, TBW has emerged as a pillar in the juvenile justice community. The Beat Within has received significant awards and honors including, but not limited to: Pass Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2004; Jefferson Award, Nobel Prize for Public Service, 2005; and Bill Graham Award, 2008. In 2011, TBW received the Silver Heart award, from the Society of Professional Journalism, to honor those whose careers reflect an extraordinary dedication to “Giving Voice To The Voiceless.” Most recently in 2016, David was one of thirty people honored in the United States by Equal Voice News with the 2016 Cesar Chavez Day Hero Award. In honor of Cesar Chavez’s civil rights contribution, David was recognized for bettering his community through the work of The Beat Within.

David Inocencio
Founder, The Beat Within
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