Dashawn Taylor is the author of From Poverty to Power Moves. He is located in Newark, New Jersey. I interviewed him about a powerful project called W.I.N.
Andrea: What is W.I.N.? Who started it and why?
Dashawn: The W.I.N.-Writing Is Necessary was created by Next Level Publishing, which is a publishing company I own. Both I and my business partner Aleasha Arthur started WIN in 2011 as a spin off from the 100K Power movement. The goal was to get 100,000 youth excited about reading and writing. As a result, I created the WIN “Writing is Necessary” program.
Andrea: Please share any successes with the program. Where have you been with it?
Dashawn: The project has reached new heights, we have been touring various city’s promoting this new initiative, from Washington, DC, Greenbelt, Maryland, Camden, NJ and East Orange, NJ.
Our biggest WIN workshop was in May of 2013; we hosted the WIN Workshop to over 100 students at the Cicely Tyson School for Performing Arts, East Orange, NJ. The Principal and staff not only supported the program, they were able to see the potential WIN could do for its students. We were asked to come back for the 2013-2014 school year.
Andrea: How does it work?
Dashawn: The W.I.N “Writing is Necessary” Project, is uniquely designed to motivate students and introduce them to an effective method of approaching different writing techniques. Our workshops assist students with assignments, essays, term papers, letters and standardized tests.
Andrea: Why did you decide to try crowd funding? Please share how the community at large can help, where, and what funds will be used for.
Dashawn: We found that, while trying to increase our reach, many schools had limited funding, yet- the schools wanted WIN in their classrooms. We found printing the materials and putting the efforts to make this a successful workshop was costing the company a lot of money. At some schools we volunteered our services. We hope through crowd funding we can eliminate this barrier. Crowd funding will allow us to give scholarships to schools and various school programs thought-out the country.
Andrea: Why are you so passionate about literacy? Who is helping with this cause?
Dashawn: As young kid, I was always interested in writing. I started out writing rap songs. As I got older I moved to writing articles and online blogs for a magazine called Real-hiphop.com. In 2005, I decided to stop procrastinating and put out a book I had been contemplating for years. I decided to publish my first book "From Poverty To Power Moves." I’m now a National Best Selling Author and I owe it all to my love for writing.
I have a team of college students who intern with us. This young energy has helped us promote WIN through social media networks. (Facebook, school boards, Twitter, blogs, events, ect.)
Andrea: Please share any relevant statistics that you learned about illiteracy, while putting together your presentation for W.I.N.
Dashawn: Before launching the project, an intensive research was conducted. Our sources of information ranged from:
Andrea: When is the deadline for your online campaign?
Dashawn: While the efforts of the W.I.N. project is on-going, the date for our most current campaign is September 7, 2013.
Andrea: What kind of response have you received?
Dashawn: The responses have been very positive. We are finding that the more we keep promoting the WIN-Writing is Necessary project, the bigger it will become.
Andrea: How can readers reach you and/or donate?
Dashawn: The link for our contribution campaign is http://igg.me/at/win/x/4070771
The donation link can also be accessed on our website : www.WritingIsNecessary.com
Stay in touch via Facebook: www.facebook.com/WritingIsNecessary
This cause is very important. I encourage everyone who wants to help to do whatever they can to help spread the word about W.I.N. and the online campaign.