View our accessibility package Skip to the Main Content
Harbourfront Centre
Harbourfront Centre continues to monitor the rapidly changing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus. For the health and safety of all our staff and our volunteers, our patrons, supporters and the community, and in line with the advice and guidelines of Toronto Public Health, we will be closed to the public until further notice. Learn more here.

Yasus Afari
An inspirational dub philosopher poet and edutainment specialist, Yasus Afari is frequently described as Jamaica's best kept secret. With eight albums, two books and numerous tours to his credit, Yasus Afari has collaborated with many iconic greats such as Black Uhuru, Toots & the Maytals, Beres Hammond and King Kapisi of Samoa/New Zealand, among others. As a cultural entrepreneur he has also developed the Jamaica Poetry Festival, Poetry in Motion & The Pomedy Show among others. As an artist he possesses the revolutionary will to kill poverty, ignorance and injustice, awakening vigilant vibrations with words and sounds of power. His philosophy is: 'Celebrating Life with Laughter Love and Learning; while embracing One Earth, One Love and One Humanity.'

El Jones
Halifax Poet Laureate, 2013-2015, El Jones is a spoken word activist and teacher. She was the two-time captain of the back-to-back national championship Halifax slam team in 2007 and 2008. El has performed all over Canada, including at the 10th Anniversary All-Star edition of When Sisters Speak in Toronto. In 2012, she was sponsored by Citizenship and Heritage Canada on a reading tour of Nova Scotia with George Elliott Clarke. Her poetry is particularly committed to political causes and social justice and has worked extensively with organizations around Halifax performing and presenting on issues of social change. She is dedicated to using poetry in prison outreach and youth engagement, and volunteers twice a week at Centerline Studio. El is current artistic director of Word Iz Bond Spoken Word Artist Collective. She currently teaches in the African Canadian Transition Program at NSCC and in the Women's Studies program at Acadia.
Learn more

Speak the Change! Spoken Word and Social Activism



The spoken word movement is often linked with voices that question power structures and stimulate civic engagement, and this presentation will look at the relationships between spoken word and political activism.

As we witness a groundswell of resistance to injustice, manifest in contemporary activism across the globe – whether street protests in Rio, Ferguson, MI, or Montreal, and through movements like Idle No More or Occupy – spoken word artists are joining the fray. They give voice to expressions of dissent and ask hard questions that prod the propaganda machines, rub ruling elites the wrong way and rattle power structures. This panel of features international and Canadian artists who, through poetry and frontline involvement, address matters such as poverty, incarceration, discrimination and human rights, on a local and global scale. It is a place to speak freely, as we consider the relationship between spoken word and social activism.

Yasus Afari, Jamaican dubpoet and reggae artist, will discuss developing and applying his edutainment techniques for activism and social change alongside panelists/presenters, El Jones, Jessica Care Moore, Scruffmouth, Yasus Afari and Spin.

Lectures Music Learning
Home  \  What's ON  \  Festivals & Series  \  South-North Griots Summit  \  Events