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Connecting Across Cultures:
Jewish and Muslim Teens Write and Share Together

Since 2007, Writopia Lab has been helping young writers from diverse backgrounds come together in a creative community which fosters the refinement of their craft, the development and sharing of their personal voice, and the ability to engage in meaningful conversations around their writings. This approach is rooted in our belief that celebrating and sharing stories contributes to the building of stronger, more literate and empathetic young people and societies.

In January 2024, Writopia selected ten teen writers, Muslim and Jewish, through an application process. Participants worked together weekly in small groups—across cultures and in affinity groups—over Zoom over the course of eight weeks. Using prompts and exercises, they talked, wrote, and shared the joys and burdens they are carrying, their fears and questions, and their hope and love for the places and people that are in their hearts.

Those who participated shared their work with an audience and will be included in a forthcoming Writopia Publishing Lab book. 

Connecting Across Cultures: Celebratory Reading

Join us for the culminating event of Writopia Lab’s “Connecting Across Cultures” program, where ten Jewish and Muslim American teens came together to write and share the burdens they are carrying, their fears and questions, and their hope and love for the places and people that are in their hearts. This event is a celebration of their diverse voices and the power of empathy, connection, and understanding. 

Click here to RSVP for the Celebratory Reading.

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Rebecca Wallace-Segall - Founder & CEO

Rebecca has been working with youth from diverse backgrounds since 2005, and has been dedicated to bringing youth together across cultural lines ever since. You can read the founding story in The Village Voice. She teaches, writes, presents, and curates panels for schools, events, and conferences on a variety of topics including "The Case for Youth Voice, Creative Writing, and Joy-Based Writing Programs in Schools and After School," "Building Safe Spaces: The Power of Creative Writing for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma," and more.

Yael Schick - Executive Director

Yael has been developing and running programs and leading Writopia’s workshops for over a decade. She has been recognized as an “Outstanding Educator” by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018, and her students have been awarded National Medals, including American Voice Awards, Best in Grade Awards, and Silver Medals with Distinction in their senior portfolios. She graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2022 with a Masters in Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship. She holds a BA in English Literature from Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University.

Tasnim Hussain - Program Manager
Tasnim Hussain

Tasnim has been developing and running programs at Writopia for over three years and has emerged as one of our most requested and beloved instructors. She ran a popular Religion Salon at WriCampia with Yael where campers reflected on spirituality, religious identity and beliefs in literary form and shared those pieces with each other. Tasnim graduated as salutatorian from Hunter College, where she majored in English Education with a minor in Sociology. She has been published in GRLQUASH, a bi-annual literary magazine, and Hunter College's The OliveTree Review.

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