Salinas Youth Poet Laureate
My name is Kenya Janae Burton, Kenya like the country,
Janae because it rhymed, and Burton because of history.
I am a proud Blaxxican (Black & Mexican) woman from
Salinas, California who is not afraid to be big and loud.
I am also an award-winning poet,
an awardee of the New York Silver Key in Writing
and NEA Big Read Award, and an activist.
Through my work, I tackle difficult themes around racism,
classism, sexism, and the other “isms” that plague America.
I hope to promote understanding and equality for
the next generation.
On this page, you will find stories, arts, and messages
not only from me but others like me and in my community.
I hope to empower the youth and other minorities to share
their voices and their struggles. I write, to show people
that I am more than what they think. I am a person who
appears like a question to some and an answer to others.
I write for myself and for those who feel they are ordinary,
people who think they are odd or feel weird in the skin they
were born in. In this place, I hope you will learn how to escape
the shells your hearts were never meant to stay in.
Contact me if you would like me to speak!
Voices of Monterey Bay
Salinas Valley Art and
Agents of Change
THA HOOD SQUAD
Everett Alvarez High School
Salinas High School
CSU- Monterey Bay
NEA BIG READ
Black & Brown Coalition
Community Before Cops
First United Methodist Church
North Salinas High School
Alisal High School