Pongo's Value Statement


What We Believe

•    Pongo’s method is effective, fast, safe, replicable, and culturally appropriate.

•    Trauma sufferers served by any agency or residing in any institution, anywhere, can benefit from a personal Pongo poetry experience.

•    After trauma, people’s feelings and memories are often bound up in their hearts, often enwrapped by hurt and shame. But when people express themselves, they externalize and concretize their experience. The transformative aspect of this process is that people go from thinking “I am a bad person” to thinking “This is a bad experience that happened to me.”

•    While Pongo is best described as a “trauma-informed” program, Pongo is an appropriate healing response to a range of complicated and difficult experiences.

•    In the community, the source of poetry’s power is the real connection that is created between people through the honest expression of emotion. Poetry transcends stigmas and stereotypes because it embodies feelings and resilience that are universal, empathetic, and admirable.

•    We work with people who have suffered terribly and historically from societal and structural inequities, such as racism, mass incarceration, homelessness, poverty, homophobia, and the stigma associated with mental-health issues. This is the stew within which many personal traumas are cooked.

•    Artistic expression is a way of healing for many marginalized and underserved communities. Pongo is culturally appropriate for many.

•    Pongo’s methodology has potential to heal the healer. Many people are called to the helping professions because of a need to address some difficult experience of their own. They also bear the weight of the difficulties endured by those they are trying to help. Pongo poetry can help these caring people to heal themselves.

•    Pongo believes in bringing respect and caring into painful places and to model these attitudes as a powerful force for individual growth and social change within the institutions and structures in which it serves.