Who We Are

Power Poetry would not be possible without the hardworking, talented, and dedicated staff who endeavor to have young people be heard. The Power Poetry team is responsible for promoting a safe space where poets can share their work, as well as encouraging more growth in the organization.

 

George Weiner

Chief Technology Officer

George is the chief technology officer for Power Poetry.org and is responsible for developing and managing all online and communication systems for Power Poetry. He worked as the Chief Technology Officer of DoSomething.org, which, under his leadership, became an innovator in social media, mobile technologies and youth social action. During his time at Dosomething.org George converted over one million users. George was awarded a People's Choice Webby Award in 2009 for his innovative work on Dosomething.org. He is a self-taught techie and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a frequent speaker on not-for-profit tech issues at forums including SXSW, NTEN, the Google Grants Conference, U.N. Youth Summit, National Conference on Volunteering and Service and Blog World.  He has guest lectured at NYU and NYIT and is a frequent contributer to the Huffington Post. George is also the founder of CTO's For Good, a small group of CTOs who use their technological skills to scale.

 

Jessica Wiener

Manager of Digital Programs, Content Creator, Social Media Manager and Intern Supervisor

Jessica moderates Power Poetry, produces content that's meant to inspire the young poets, and is one of our social media gurus. She recently graduated from Siena College with an honors degree in English. Jessica has always had vivid, intricate dreams, and her love of writing began when she started a dream journal to write them down. Writing down these dreams opened up the door to the fantasy and science fiction genres, through which she found her love of reading, especially poetry, through the likes of Edgar Allan PoeJ.K. Rowling, and Shakespeare. Jessica believes that everyone deserves to voice their opinion, and that writing is an excellent way to do so. When she’s not working, Jessica can be found geeking out over the latest superhero movie.

 

 

Roland Legiardi-Laura

Executive Director and Founder

Roland is a documentary filmmaker, poet and educator. He developed Power Poetry based on his work in New York City public schools and he serves as the organization's chief executive. Roland's first documentary, AZUL, tells the story of the Nicaraguan people through their poetry. To Be Heard, his most recent film, is a documentary about three high school poets from the Bronx who use their poetry to change their lives and impact the world; the film is also the inspiration for Power Poetry.  Roland brings to our organization over 10 years of working with youth through Power Writers, a program that encourages high school students across the U.S. to use their words as tools to change their lives and communities. Roland has been active as a board member of the Nuyorican Poets Café for over 25 years. He  also created the world's first traveling troupe of poets--"Words to Go". He lives in the East Village in New York City where he is actively trying to preserve the history and culture of his beloved community.