Host Will Grayson was born and raised in New York City. His early childhood was spent in a supportive environment that offered him everything he could possibly need to aspire to any level of accomplishment he so desired.
Guest tonight at 10PM EST is Ray “Knowledge” Dominguez founder of The Write Side Poets Inc. a not for profit organization whose mission is to empowers youth to become agents of social change through the development of spoken word, artistic expression, literacy healthy living. And owner of The Write Side Poets Café in Lauderhill, Florida started doing spoken word poetry as a hobby over 13 years ago in Miami and says he became “addicted to the applause”. Ray started the Write Side Poets Inc. in January 2004 in hopes of reaching youth who never knew they had a voice. In 2005 after finishing 10th overall at the National Poetry Slam in Albuquerque, New Mexico he came back to here that there was a spoken word poetry movement for youth poets going on and so along with two high school teachers and a fellow poet they raised $8,000 in six weeks and took the first ever Florida youth poetry team to the 2005 Brave New Voice International Poetry Festival. That year Florida finished 2nd overall out of 80 youth teams from around the country. The following year he formed a Miami team and coached both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami into the semi-final rounds where they both finish in the top ten out of 80 teams.
In 2007 he co-produced the “Words Not Weapon” Youth Poetry Slam with the Palm Beach Post and met Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons who invited Ray to his home for his “Arts for Learning” fundraiser their he spoke with Mr. Simmons about the importance’s of saving children through the arts and how spoken word poetry was a powerful medium that not only allows children to express themselves but also increases their reading and writing abilities thus helping them progress in their studies and prepares them as leaders of social change in their community. Months later Russell Simmons and his Media group Simmons-Lathan Media Group started working on a project where they would follow other organization like The Write Side Poets and showcase how teams were selected and how they prepare for Brave New Voices and The Write Side Poets were asked to participate in this eight week documentary that would air on HBO in April 2008.
Ray Dominguez has grace the stage with many well know actors, activist, and poets throughout the country; carrying his message of spoken word and the impact it has on inner city youth and the communities they inhibit. In 2006 after touring the state he start the “My Wordz Make U Think” Florida State Youth Poetry Slam. That year teams that he help start in Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach convened in both Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville for this historic event now in its 5th year the event will welcome teams from Raleigh, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Savannah, Georgia, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jacksonville, FL, Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL, Miami, FL, and Fort Lauderdale making the event a southern regional competition for youth poetry making it the largest youth poetry event in the south. In 2008 The Write Side Poets opened the only youth owned poetry café in the state of Florida in the Write Side Poets Café each weekend kids from all over come to perform their uncensored poetry in front of large crowds of people who have only seen it on TV with many special guest poets coming in to share their time and talent with the youth. Ray conducts free writing workshops every 2nd and 3rd Saturday of the month for young and old poets alike. “All I ask is that you bring a pencil a notebook and your imagination” says Ray