About a year ago, Azura Tyabji wrote and performed a poem in her ninth-grade class at Nova High School. It was the culmination of weeks of studying and analyzing stereotypes with her classmates. Tyabji, 15, wrote about being mixed race and the expectations she felt to identify with one side of her family, rather than embracing all facets of her life. The assignment was her first exposure to spoken word. “I ended up enjoying it and connecting with it because I got to be myself on stage,” she explained, describing her first experience. “I didn’t have to act as a character.