Dream Big Speak Out

Dream Big Speak Out is a program created by the New York Knicks, Garden of Dreams and Urban Word NYC, designed to inspire students to engage and reflect on the African American experience as well as how Black History inspires our everyday lives. Over the course of an 8 week program, 15 teens from Garden of Dreams partner organization SCO Family of Services met weekly at the Urban Word offices. They explored history, poetry, music and popular culture to cultivate their powerful youth voices which culminated in live performances at The Dream Big Speak Out Open Mic Event.


  • Students created a script, song/poetry & performance piece that expressed something that they need to overcome
  • Students used Black History themes & discussion to investigate current news.
  • Discussed and identified several literary terms, including rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, form, free verse, stream of consciousness, lyricism, and imagery.
  • Applied an in-depth understanding of jazz characteristics such as improvisation, lyricism, rhythm, and their own creative work
  • Analyzed meaning and craft of poetry.
  • Discussed the commonalities between jazz music and poetry; hip hop music and poetry.

DBSO 2016 First Session

Check out photos from the very first session of the 2016 Dream Big Speak Out Program, with Lance Thomas.


DBSO 2016 DC Trip

The DBSO participants took a trip to Washington D.C. to explore the White Hose, visit historical monuments and hang with John Starks!


DBSO 2016 Open Mic Event

On February 29th, the Knicks and Garden of Dreams, alongside Urban Word NYC took over the historic Harlem Stage in the 2nd annual Open Mic Event, where the program participants debuted their poems.


DBSO 2015: Open Mic Event

On Monday, March 2, the New York Knicks and Garden of Dreams Foundation alongside Urban Word NYC held the first annual Dream Big Speak Out Open Mic Event at Nuyorican Poets Café.

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DBSO 2015: DC Trip Photos

Check out Photos from Dream Big Speak Out: DC Trip


DBSO 2015: Session 1

Check out Photos from Dream Big Speak Out: Session 1