Detroit students face many challenges and it’s not every day they get to talk about them publicly. But this Friday, they get a chance to share them with the community. 

Six students will take the stage in Mosaic Youth Theatre’s Blackbox to share the experiences that inspired some to take action to improve their schools. Although they come from different schools around the city, they have one thing in common: their passion for improving public education in Detroit. 

The student story slam will be sponsored by Chalkbeat and 482Forward, an education advocacy group in Detroit. The event will be at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 23rd. 

From worries about long-term substitutes in the classroom to a school that misplaced more than 100 students just weeks before the first day of school, the stories are meant to inspire and inform the audience. 

“I want them to see that they matter, and their stories matter and they shouldn’t be afraid to tell their stories. Because it’s who they are, and it’s helped shaped them,” said Detroit Cristo Rey High School alumnus Juanita Zuniga, a youth organizer with 482Forward and a junior at Kalamazoo University. 

Zuniga believes the event will allow attendees to hear stories they won’t hear anywhere else. 

“I think it’s important for people to come because the only way to get to know what’s happening is to hear it firsthand from the people experiencing it,” she said. “The more people that come, the more people that know what’s going on and that can change what’s going on.”

The goal of the event, Zuniga says, is to inspire people to take action to improve public education. She’s played a large role in planning the story slam, and says she’s excited to present these experiences to the community. 

For more information about the free event, please RSVP here, because seating and food are limited.