Core Values

One Mic Open is a grass roots slam and open mic series geared towards bridging the gap between adults and youth, by having both share their work in a safe space. The ultimate goal of the slam series is to put together a six person team to compete at an international festival called Brave New Voices, sponsored by YouthSpeaks.

One Mic Open was created to reach the youth of not only Cleveland, but surrounding suburbs, in an effort to create a sense of community among the youth in North East Ohio. By sharing their talents, not limited only to poetry, at the open mic, we feel that they are creating a space in which they are free to be themselves in the most complete sense.


Youth (voice/leadership)

Our first duty is to the youth. We want their voices to be loud, powerful and clear. Their dedication to being their most authentic selves and inspire other young folk to stand up and stand out.

Learn More

Safe Space

We will provide a space to discuss everything and anything in a constructive fashion. It will be safe to disagree and have viewpoints that deviate from the norm. Attacks of any kind will not be accepted mentally, emotionally or physically.

Learn More


You cannot take back words or actions once they have been put out into the universe. We are big believers on being held accountable for your individual actions, and learning the negative and positive consequences attached to decisions.

Learn More

Community Consciousness

Being aware of the society we all live in on both the individual, and national level is very important. We want young people to be able to identify their roles in both, and understand how they can enact change on all levels.

Learn More

Commitment to Excellence

The highest peaks cannot be reached by standing still. We encourage youth to experiment, and grow, but to take their journey very seriously and commit themselves to being excellent at whatever it is they love.

Learn More

Lifelong Study

There is always space to be a student, even for teachers. The space we provide can also be one of learning for those who may not be teenagers. Often we learn just as much by educating young people, as we did from being young people.

Learn More

Individual Transformation

In the end it’s all about the journey, being able to see where YOU started and where YOU ended up, without comparing yourself to anyone else. We want youth to understand they are writing chapters to their own books with every action, and shouldn’t feel pressured because they aren’t at the same place in life as their peers.

Learn More