To celebrate Black History Month, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s iLEAD Youth Initiative turns to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as an inspiration for the creativity that can transform our world.

iLEAD is partnering with two well-known poets and spoken word artists to offer a virtual workshop focusing on the power of our words. The workshop will conclude with an awareness campaign to spread the word of the importance of Dr. King’s work and its relevance today.

Keynote Speaker

Rev. Alexander E.M. Johnson

Rev. Johnson serves as the Executive Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. Johnson is responsible for ensuring the efficacious and impactful flow of Wheeler’s four Sunday worship experiences as well as overseeing the more than 70 ministries of the church. He was the recipient of the Princeton Theological Seminary John T. Galloway Award in Expository Preaching and the Aaron E. Gast Award in Urban Ministry. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Workshop Leaders

Marlon “Marley” Lizama

Marlon “Marley” Lizama is a poet, writer, artist, author, activist, and dancer who focuses on the cultural aspect of writing and the arts. Marlon is the Co-founder and Program Director of Iconoclast Artists, a creative writing program that serves underserved schools and detention centers focusing on incarcerated youth, while disrupting the school to prison pipeline. Through his work with Iconoclast he has published three anthologies of student poetry.

Emanuelee "Outspoken" Bean

Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean is known as a performance poet, writer, compassionate mentor, and electric entertainer. In 2017, Bean was the Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residence; in 2021, he was named Houston’s fifth Poet Laureate. He is also a recipient of the 2016 Andy Warhol Foundation’s The Idea Fund grant, and was named VICE Media’s “Poet of the People 2018.”

The event is free of charge. All participants (students grade 9-12) will learn how art can be a force for good. You don’t need to be accomplished writers; you just need to be committed to how words can change the world!

Please fill out the form at or scan the QR code.

RSVP by Friday,February 25, 2022.

This event is generously supported by the Rabbi Samuel E. Karff Memorial Fund