Art, activism, and all of the above! Local poets, artist, and painters rallied support for Nissan workers in Canton, MS and Smryna, TN by tapping into the arts. Local Chicago students creatively collaborate to create a night of live performances in support of social justice issues through original art, poetry, and music with an emphasis on advocacy for Nissan workers in the South who are fighting for better working conditions in the factory.
The event was hosted by the Black Student Union, Deeply Rooted ’07 Clothing, L.Y.R.I.C, Depaul Poets, F.A.C.E, and Allure Modeling, which are a combination of campus and community service organizations. The competition ran with 13 participants and special features from Outspoken Poetry Club, DePaul Hoop Troupe, and food/activity sponsorship from Infinite Inc.
With at least 250 people in attendance, the event began with a cypher, included a live twitter feed, live painter (Fhat Cousins), and the contest ended with 3 contest winners (Frankiem Mitchell- Poet, Mariah Ivey-Poet William Franklin-Poet, respectively).
A special Speak Up segment was dedicated to the Nissan workers with a poetic expression from Outspoken Poetry Club followed by a fashion show where Deeply Rooted ’07 Clothing designed a Choose Justice line in support of the workers. We were later joined via Skype by Lee and Pat Ruffin, two Nissan workers from Canton, MS., who gave firsthand accounts of the fight for justice and thanked students for their involvement.
Actor and humanitarian, Danny Glover served as a judge and closed with a dynamic address inspiring students to action towards the Nissan workers. The Concerned Students for a Better Nissan signed up 235 students as supporters and will be rolling into New Orleans to rally students through art and poetry for justice!