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Owl & Panther

April 13, 2010

A response to primary and secondary
trauma related to torture and dislocation

Owl & Panther Writing Project

Owl & Panther  is a unique creative writing project working with young people affected by trauma, especially trauma associated with torture, dislocation, refugee status, or family problems.

“All of us could use a refuge, a small, safe space that encourages honest reflection, where we can relax and share with one another, where we can grow. Refugees in particular need such a space. Many bear the scars of violent oppression, not only physically but in their hearts and minds, and find themselves disoriented when faced with life in this giant refuge – the United States. Through creative writing, counseling and community service, Owl and Panther provides a refuge within a refuge…

“The group developed from Tucson’s Center for Prevention and Resolution of Violence…In 1995, refugee parents asked CPRV to provide special support for their children. At first, activities focused on tutoring and summer school. Participants also met to celebrate different cultures and to learn skills to ease their transition into life in the United States. In 1998, Owl and Panther became a creative writing group as well…”

If the mango tree
could speak…

It would talk
about my people
and say how they live.
It would talk about
my broken heart
of memories…

If the mango tree
could speak,
it would weep
with the fear of
thousands of years…

Excerpts from a collaborative poem by Owl and Panther,
inspired by the film
If the Mango Tree Could Speak

LATE NOTE:  A recent communication from coordinator, Marge Pellegrino, reports that lack of funding has forced Owl & Panther to close its office, but she stresses that the project is continuing nonetheless.

CONTACT: The Hopi Foundation / Owl and Panther Project
Post Office Box 301, Kykostmovi, Arizona 86039  /

Ask about the project’s Writing Out of the Darkness:
An Anthology of Poetry by Refugees in Transition.

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