Dear 2CM Supporters,

      It’s hard to put into words what these last two years have been like. Not just to you, our loyal supporters, but also to us. There have been ups and downs, and somewhere in the middle; wins and losses; good times and bad times. We had successes and occasional failures. However, above all, there’s always been a sense of purpose. A fiery desire and will to enact change, and every member of our team has lived up to that. Though this new era started with a core of ten and ended with a core of eight, each person during their tenure here has contributed greatly to the goals of our organization. They leave behind a legacy for the future poets of 2 Cents to be inspired by, the way they were inspired by the poets who came before and those who founded our organization.

2024 is almost upon us and in this new year, things will change, as they always do. However, to move forward, we must first look back. So here’s a recap:

In 2022, Ashley, Renessa, Jayden, Mishael, Saidah, Gabrielle, and Dominique—seven bright-eyed hopefuls—and the more experienced hopefuls Javaughn, Shimiah, and Ronaldo joined the 2 Cents Movement. This was the start of not just the new Artist Core but a family. Over the two years of our time together, we’ve had our fair share of disagreements but more than a fair amount of love, support, and kindness for each other.

This Core helped 2 Cents not just regain their footing but create something entirely new. Javaughn and Dominique took Raise the Bar to new heights, literally raising the bar of the competition experience. Ronaldo held down the We Write fort, showing up every last Wednesday of the month, in person or online, to connect with our community. Jayden and Ashley, our favourite Gen Z duo, changed the face of the 2 Cents socials with inspired creativity, rigour, and passion. Derron used his experience to guide and foster the Core to the achievements we’ve had.

Together, we hosted Raise the Bar 2023 and faced one another in First Citizens National Poetry Slam as competitors. We partnered with the Pan American Development Fund for our school tours and street theatre initiatives, advocating for Venezuelan migrant acceptance. We also partnered with the Bocas Lit Fest for their We Lit school tours. We undertook our 16 Days of Activism in 2022, recommitting ourselves to our promise to be advocates against gender-based violence. And this is just the start, as listing our various accomplishments over the last two years would need a much longer letter.

However, we’ll list one more: our team. Each member brought something so special to the Core that our greatest accomplishment will be the time that we spent together. Gabrielle always showed up despite her distance and took any unexpected challenges in stride. Mishael was not only a powerful poet but the glue that brought all the large personalities together. Renessa always showed that the greatest strength you can have is kindness. Dominique always had relentless faith in us and unmatched strength.

Jayden, despite being the ‘baby’, believed in the vision the most and worked tirelessly to drive us and the organization forward. Saidah had a strong personality and presence that was always felt when they were in a room. Ronaldo always brought thoughtful depth and insight that could not be matched. Shimiah is resilient, steadfast, and level-headed, often serving as our mediator. Javaughn wasn’t just an inspiring and talented artist; he was the coolest, mostly cool older brother to the Junior Core. Lastly, Ashley was Ashley, brutally honest and never taking anything too seriously, yet continuing to be creative and boundary-pushing in her work.

Over the last two years, we’ve practised, performed, and perfected, yet understand that we’re still growing and treat every success as an opportunity to guide us to do better the next time. Looking back, we are now able to move into 2024 proudly saying that big things are coming and that we are not afraid of the challenges these changes will bring about because our roots will remain. Those roots are you. As long as we have listeners for our two cents for change, then there will always be 2 Cents.

Happy Holidays,

The 2CM Family

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