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Drop The Mic Poetry Slam & Symposium


The National Civil Rights Museum's 2019 Drop The Mic Poetry Slam and Symposium will be a TWO-DAY event this year.  Both the Symposium and the Slam are FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  Registration is strongly in encouraged.

As the museum continues to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 50th year since his death, we seek solutions to the issues he addressed in the last year's of his life.  To finish the work Dr. King started, now is the time to take a stand and use your voice. 

This year’s Drop the Mic theme, “Freedom Forward,” unapologetically pushes the envelope forward for artists and activists  Poets use their words for enlightenment, healing, inspiration, and power.  Spoken word gives artists the platform to shine light on what is right and what is wrong, to use art for activism.

Poets have the opportunity to educate, bring awareness, to seize the moment and take it to the next level in answering the call to action to move #FreedomForward at the 6th Annual DropTheMic Poetry Slam.

the slam

The competition, the big event, is on Friday, August 23, 2019. The Slam will feature poets performing original works before an audience and a judging panel for a chance to win cash prizes. The judges will determine the winner from points earned during the performances. 


  • Poets ages 14-35 will compete in three age categories (14-17, 18-25 and 26-35) before a panel of judges
  • Each category will have 1st–3rd place winners of cash prizes up to $1500*
  • The Slam will be hosted by activist, teacher, author, comedian, playwright & founder of Poetry vs. Hip-Hop, Bethsheba "Queen Sheba" Rem.


  • 1ST PLACE: $1,500
  • 2ND PLACE: $1,000
  • 3RD PLACE: $750



the symposium

It kicked off with a free Symposium on Saturday, August 24, at the Museum with workshops on key components on mechanics, expression, branding and the impact the art has on the community. The workshops were open to anyone who is serious about enhancing their creativity and engagement as a poet, spoken word artist or community activist.  


  • FREE & open to the public.  Light lunch served.
  • Workshops
  • MasterClass with Ed Mabrey, four-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, teacher and comedian
  • Lunch Plenary & Keynote




Contact media@civilrightsmuseum.org.


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