Tag Archives: social change

Social Justice!! … RECLAIM THE THUNDER!!


Reclaim the Thunder: Songs and Poetry for Social Change Workshop

Friday, April 22

3 pm – 4:30 pm

Jonas Clark, Room 104

Clark University, 950 Main St.

Taina Asili and Michael Reye’s Reclaim the Thunder: Songs and Poetry for Social Change Workshop brings the history and songwriting and poetry techniques of social justice music and poetry together in an interactive radical creative jam to reinvent our world.
Taina Asili and Michael Reyes will discuss how songs and poetry reclaim power, break barriers, inspire and unite.

This workshop is open to people of all ages and artistic levels, from beginner poets to experienced mcees and singers! 

Taína Asili is a US born Puerto Rican vocalist and songwriter carrying on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her newest artistic work is as band leader of Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde, a six piece ensemble based in Albany, NY. Taina has taught writing workshops for over 10 years. Beginning as a poetry workshop facilitator at Taller Puertorriqueño, a Puerto Rican cultural center based in North Philadelphia, Taína has since taught poetry writing workshops for both children and adults, with a focus on marginalized populations including incarcerated women, refugees and union workers.

She has her MA in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College. Taina organizes with the Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration in Albany, New York and helped to found the New York State Prisoner Justice Network (www.nysprisonerjustice.org).  

For many years, she has worked on the campaign to free former death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal (www.freemumia.com) and many other types of movement work such as Puerto  Rican independence, indigenous rights, environmental justice, and holistic health movements. And she considers parenting to be her most important activist work.
Michael Reyes:
As a poet, artist and organizer, Reyes performs internationally and facilitates educational performances and workshops by merging creative expression and critical thought. His mission is to provide a participatory educational environment through poetry and hip-hop to address issues of social justice and cultural identity.

The grandson of migrant workers and having worked in the fields of Michigan himself he knows all too well the inequalities that exist in the U.S. Combined with community activism and artistic contributions in both Chicago and Detroit his work has added to the multiple layers of Chican@/Latino identity. Michael is a founding member of Café Teatro Batey Urbano Chicago, IL where he organizes youth hip-hop/spoken word cd’s, poetry chatbooks, and summer programs offering creative arts and community organizing workshops focused on the principles of participatory democracy.

Clark University students make a difference in Sierra Leone

By Ashley Millette

In early January 10 Clark University students headed to Sierra Leone, Africa, on a trip that would prove to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Accompanied by David Jordan, the CEO of the Seven Hills Foundation, and several of his employees, the group departed for Sierra Leone on January 7 and stayed for 11 days. While there, they partnered with Fresh Hope Ministries and volunteered at two orphanages, a women’s health clinic, and other centers designed to aid youth and women.

Sierra Leone, one of the smaller countries in Africa, also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. One in five women will die while giving birth and one in four children will die before their fifth birthday. Fortunately, many organizations are trying to build clinics in remote villages where otherwise no health care would be available.

Amelia Angevine, one of the Clark students who travelled to Sierra Leone, described one of the remote clinics her team visited; “The clinic was two miles in the woods and had a straw thatched roof and tarp floor. It was so simple but it runs so well.” Many woman and children would go to the clinic to for malaria medication and testing. Continue reading Clark University students make a difference in Sierra Leone