“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fall of 2016 was a time that stirred tension, anger, hurt and disappointment for our society. SNU and the people of our campus were not immune from these emotions. In response to such issues, a SNU student expressed the need for an outlet in which SNU could come together as a community to share in these difficulties; thus, the first Speak Solidarity event was created.
Speak Solidarity is a spoken word event put on by the Cultural and Communication Studies Department. Professor Jim Smith describes the department’s desire for this time to be “an opportunity in an uncertain time for people to express whatever it is they might be feeling.”
The first Speak Solidarity event was largely successful. Many people shared, listened and expressed positive feedback for the gathering. Because of its benefit, the event will take place again this semester.
The second Speak Solidarity event will be Tuesday, February 28 at 8:00 p.m. in SNU’s coffee shop portion of the library. Anyone connected to our campus community is invited and encouraged to come participate. Speak Solidarity is “open mic” meaning that anyone who wishes to speak at the event is welcome to do so. Participants may share original or borrowed pieces of spoken word, poems, song lyrics or anything else that reflects their feelings or experience.
There are no requirements for this time, other than the desire for pieces to be appropriate for the SNU community and no more than 7 minutes in length. All students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the event.
Flyers for Speak Solidarity will be seen around campus come the middle of this week. If you need extra incentive to make an appearance, the first 20 students who show up at the event will receive a free tall drink from SNU’s coffee shop.
Speak Solidarity is all about continuing the conversation. Prof. Smith expresses that the Cultural and Communication Studies Department’s hope is for “better understanding of the experience of others that will ultimately lead to a catalyst for change.” It is Professor Pam Bracken’s wish that students would feel that Speak Solidarity is a “space and safe place for communal commiseration.”
If you don’t have a desire to speak at the event, you are still highly encouraged to come and simply listen. Speak Solidarity will provide for effective and helpful healing.