Last Words: Giving Victims a Voice Workshop by David A. Romero

“Last Words: Giving Victims a Voice Workshop by David A. Romero (A Spoken Word Poetry Workshop)”

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Razan Mohammed Abu-Salha, Tony McDade, Brisenia Flores, Tamara Dominguez, and Harvey Milk. Their names are familiar to lovers of social justice everywhere. Their stories have been carried on long after their tragic ends. Let's give these and other victims of hate crimes and/or police brutality a voice!

Participants receive a card with the name and information of a victim. Each story is read aloud. After observing a moment of silence, participants write poems from the perspective of these individuals; often painfully capturing their last moments. This workshop helps participants learn more about people of different races, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, and economic backgrounds.

Each participant is made to swear an oath before they begin writing, "I solemnly swear, to tell the story of my person as truthfully and sincerely as possible. I do this to honor their memory, call attention to the injustice of their death, and support those who continue to live with their struggle. I might not know much about the person I have been given. That's ok. I have an imagination. I can use it. I understand that not everyone here will know as much about these people as I might, or understand their struggle as clearly. I promise not to judge anyone for their interpretation of these last words and moments as long as I feel that what they are writing is in the spirit of sincerity and solidarity."

Participants are given time to write their poems and are encouraged to read their poems aloud in front of the group. This is followed by an open discussion on the feelings evoked from the workshop and the many issues presented.

***45 random students who contribute will receive a book following the event that will include everyone’s poetry, who wishes to be published.***

Friday, May 20 at 11:00am to 1:00pm

Student Success Center, Multipurpose Room 1