By Keely Savoie
This Saturday, March 28, Mount Holyoke students and community members will join together in A Call to Consciousness—C2C—a daylong event to raise consciousness around issues of race and social justice. The event is sponsored by the College’s community-service organization, C.A.U.S.E. (Creating Awareness and Unity for Social Equity).
The event was inspired by the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the realization of the need for more engagement on the issues raised. It kicks off a series of events around the Five Colleges organized around the theme of Black Lives Matter.
The day will begin with a self-care workshop to help activists and organizers develop strategies to remain engaged and effective. “There aren’t enough tools provided for activists and organizers to deal with the immense amount of stress that comes with planning and putting yourself out there,” said Melanie Wilkerson ’15, who helped organize C2C. “The workshop is about discussing and coming up with techniques on how to manage that kind of stress.” The workshop is sponsored and facilitated by Mount Holyoke’s Counseling Service.The workshop will be followed by a teach-in designed to provide history and cultural context around issues of race and social justice. Later, rap sessions with panel discussions will explore the contributions of youth and politically engaged hip-hop artists to the movement. The day will culminate in a hip-hop performance headlined by Jasiri X and Rebel Diaz.
“The performers are conscious artists. Their music inherently deals with the struggles that they face or have faced on a daily basis,” said Wilkerson. “It will empower the community to see people who are doing what they love and still advocating for something important.”