The Peace Poets

The Peace Poets are an Unstoppable Voters Project – a series of Center for Artistic Activism supported works that ensure every vote is counted in the 2020 U.S. election.

The Peace Poets

2020 has shown us the work ahead, and as we move forward we need actions that are exciting, celebratory, and keep people motivated and energized for the world we’re building. Without a strategy to activate our partners in this effort, chants turn into drones, and marches turn into slogs. Attending a protest starts to feel like an obligation, people get burned out, and energy fizzles.

A demonstration can truly demonstrate the lively, active, joyful world we want, which includes people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and fuels our motivation and drive to continue. “Bodies” in a march can become people we walk alongside, fellow voices we sing with, and friends we share.

But how do we do it? First, we retire all the old chants: sorry, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho” has got to go. Next, we replace them with songs for this moment. The Peace Poets have a few to get you started.

How do you get people to sing? Watch the Peace Poets’ Lu Aya share insights he’s gained over the years.

Created by The Peace Poets

Lu Aya
Ram 3
Frankie 4
The Last Emcee
Photo Credits:

The Peace Poets are family born of Hip Hop, heart, and hope in New York City.  Some have been friends since as early as three years old and over time they have built an artist collective of poets, Hip Hop performers, and educators founded on this friendship and their common love for community and creative expression. Grounded in the power of personal narratives and community, The Peace Poets create and have shared Spoken Word poetry, rap, and Movement Music that responds to social and political crisis in over 40 countries.

6 songs for this moment

We Are the Movement

A freedom love song to us, the movement for liberation. This is a song to GROUND, INSPIRE, AND CONNECT us when we gather online or in the streets to struggle for liberation.  It’s purpose is to express how simple and beautiful it is to be part of taking action for every single human’s liberation.

Stop This Coup

A loud, direct song to call out an attempt at a coup and reaffirm our commitment to resistance. This song is an ENERGIZING AND UNIFYING song to call out any attempt at a coup and declare our commitment to resistance. It can be used early and often to express to media and any observer of our action that we are both peaceful and committed to our cause.  It can also be used when we might feel shaken up or confused, we can sing this to remind ourselves: “we know what to do.” 

A Force More Powerful

A de-escalation  song to honor the strength of our love, reminding us that our love is greater than their fear. It can be used in moments of tension to de-escalate a situation or to re-energize the group with confidence.

Heal the Hate

A bold song to face hate and choose democracy. This song can be used to ENERGIZE AND CLARIFY our vision of our community.  It can be offered in moments of gathering or closing, online or in the streets.

Defenders of Democracy

A hype song to declare our commitment to build real democracy and true justice. This can be used to UNIFY, MOTIVATE, AND EXPRESS RESOLVE.  It can be used as an opening, a transition or a closing. 

Down to the Ground

A deescalation song to signal to protesters that it’s time to sit down. We can use this song when faced with external threats to literally sit down and be grounded in the power our our unity, our connection to the earth and our vision of liberation.

Unstoppable voters projects throughout the country relieve tensions and look to the future as every vote is counted.

Experts predict that election returns will be slow and chaotic. Artists are preparing by answering critical questions: How can we counter tension, fear and potential violence? How do we inspire resilience and hope to defend the basic tenets of democracy? How do we respond with so many unknown factors?

The Center for Artistic Activism’s Unstoppable Voters Project has gathered a group of artists and culture makers who know how to transform emotions and  support a weary nation through early voting and the transfer of power during a challenging election season. As the nation awaits election results and their aftermath, projects will help folks relieve tension on the streets, at counting sites and in their homes, with Counting Cheerleaders, the creation of Social Emergency Response Centers, of-the-moment songs created and distributed by the Peace Poets, and continued performances by Emergency Circus and dancing mailboxes Delivering Democracy, among other projects.

This post was originally published on News – The Center for Artistic Activism.