Young Chicago Authors

“I am passionate about the work of Young Chicago Authors and know that young people have a place in this fight, both in helping to create fresh messaging and in influencing peers and their ‘gramps’ and elders to get tested. We are grateful for our partnership with Young Chicago Authors and look forward to additional messaging gems.”

Jill Wolf, LCSW, Director of the Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C program

“It’s important for youth to take an active role in the movement. Many of them have a loved one that may potentially be affected by hepatitis C. Hearing the care and concern translated through the voice of a loved one can oftentimes be a motivator to get tested.”

Dante Williams, Hepatitis C Program Coordinator, Caring Ambassadors Program

In the fight against hepatitis C, young voices have been noticeably absent. In the fall of 2017, the Caring Ambassadors Program and some poets from Young Chicago Authors set out to change that. Together, they formed a partnership that would bring a fresh and unique  perspective to messaging in the fight against hepatitis C. The original concept that was developed was entitled, “Message to My Gramps” and was designed to create an intergenerational dialogue between Baby Boomers and young people.

Two young poets stepped up to the challenge – Luis Carranza and Kara Jackson applied their creativity and the projects morphed from a singular message into an anthology of creative works that addresses hepatitis C in prison settings, and the hepatitis C disparities that exist in minority communities.                        

Kara Jackson’s poetry explores the essence of invisibility, the authentic elements of language, and divine womanhood, along with its placement in the world. She was born in Oak Park, Illinois. As a young activist, she seeks to make women visible and end the violent language spoken between men and women around the world. She has received the Scholastic Art and Writing Award for her short story Nursery Rhymes, which won a silver medal at a national level. Jackson is a member of the Spoken Word club at Oak Park River Forest High school. She represented the school in the Louder Than a Bomb festival in 2016 and 2017. Her poem Invocation appeared in Rookie Magazine. She was one of the 85 commended poets of the Foyles Young Authors poetry competition.  Her work is to be featured in the forthcoming book by Kevin Coval.

Luis Carranza is a writer, community organizer and activist from southwest Chicago. He is the founder of the Little Village High School Student Union and is captain of Little Village High School poetry slam team. Carranza has been a semifinalist at the Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival, and has performed at Villapalooza, the Art Institute of Chicago, Mamby on the Beach, and Open Books. He is a member of the 2017 Bomb Squad.

We know that something change during 1945

like the end of World War Two, baby boomers to come, parties, drugs, tattoos, blood transfusions

Remember those good times?

We also got a Hepatitis C virus increase.

Are you 2 out of 3 Americans unaware of your status, you maybe be 1 out of 50 infected with the virus

Feel fatigue, fever, a yellowing of skin, and whites of eyes, symptoms of liver dysfunction.

Go get tested and treated before final phase a ticking bomb strap on your liver with 4 stages the last 2 sell coffins for funerals cirrhosis and liver cancer

1 out of 30 boomers are infected

Hepatitis C is the most chronic blood borne virus in the U.S a leading cause of liver cancer.

It doesn’t know age, race, sex, religion, or class you can’t build immunity around it.

Be bold, brave, the difference in your community we got your back to live a long and healthy life.

Testing is quick and easy as little like 5 minutes for procedure and 1 to 2 days for results to keep family, friends and yourself protected.

Live without the fear of losing your love ones take action NOW!