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Creative forum event gives a voice to the voiceless

On Feb. 10, VSU’s Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion hosted their Creative Forum event, Being a Black Sheep in the Creative Community.

The event dealt with issues such as the creative and educational identity of the African-American community in 2022, how the past and present have affected these identities and how the surrounding communities can help amplify these identities in the present and future.

Five participants were chosen to speak and talked about their personal experiences with these prompts.

“Part of the hidden history of America, and something only talked about one month of the year but should be taught more in schools,” Isrea Butler, head of the VSU music department, said.

Not all students have the same meaning for the month as other people do.

“Understanding your roots and understanding why you should push forward, and educating and inspiring yourself and others,” Jabarri Bradley, audio engineer and singer/songwriter, said.

The audience was encouraged to participate by providing questions throughout the panel relating to the given prompts and giving their own insights on their work and struggles. The conversation that ensued was one that was both encouraging and enlightening.

Everyone present was entertained and inspired by the end of the panel.

“Students. Helping students learn what I learned, and helping them believe in themselves,” Butler said.

However, not everyone had the same inspirations about their work.

“To create an ecosystem for artists and creatives ranging from singers, rappers, poets etc, and break the barriers of society’s way of thinking that art needs to be a certain way,” Bradley said.

The panel provided both participants and audience with an eye-opening conversation about identity, both as African-Americans and as artists, and the factors that shaped that identity. It was one that many of these artists and creatives found to be necessary, and gave advice to the one who needed it and the ones who didn’t think they did.

Written by Bailey Wilson, Social Media Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion.

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