This past weekend I performed a personal story and a song at the School of Education's (Still) Outspoken Event. Thank you to everyone who offered support, encouragement, and validation for my experience and my story.
Outspoken is an exciting event held each year that showcases the perspectives and talents of SOE’s diverse community. It occurs during SOE’s Campus Visit Day in March. The event is sponsored by SOE’s student organization Becoming Educators of Tomorrow (BET). Outspoken originated four years ago when former BET co-chairs Alaina Neal and Natalie Davis were concerned that the typical panel discussion about diversity was not enough to capture the fullness of what it meant to be a part of the SOE community. They hoped a showcase event would help move SOE community members from talking about diversity to “doing diversity.” Outspoken is now a much anticipated and enjoyed event that helps build community and enrich dije-related awareness.
During Outspoken, students, staff, faculty members, and audience members convey their talents, critical reflections, and social commentary through performing short skits, singing, poetry, spoken word, storytelling, etc. Naomi Wilson, who co-organized the 2017 (Still)Outspoken showcase with fellow doctoral student Paulina Fraser, reflected on the event. She explained, “It allows space to speak your truth on whatever you feel, openly, about diversity, gender, sexuality, anything. It is meant to make you feel comfortable and confident.” Additionally, Outspoken provides a meaningful opportunity for SOE community members to gather in both an academic and social environment and see themselves reflected. Wilson elucidated that by saying, “This one event is a catalyst to make people feel comfortable and connect professors, advisors, and students as they speak their truth. It creates a network and community.” Indeed, Outspoken is a phenomenal event and we would like to recognize the 2017 performers, including students Kimberly Ransom, Asya Harrison, Christina Morton, Channing Matthews, Anna Shapiro, Jennifer Pollard, Charles Wilkes, Gabriel DellaVecchia, Paulina Fraser, Naomi Wilson and Nicolas Boileau; faculty members Pat King, Pat Herbst, Vilma Mesa, and Debi Khasnabis; and staff member Simona Goldin.
Click here to read the SOE dije publication Expansions.