In February 2016, I partnered with the Black Student Union at Arizona State to create a community mural aimed to start a conversation around the topic of systematic oppression and the public perception of black and brown bodies. My inspiration for this mural came from noticing a lack of celebratory events for Black History Month. In an effort to encourage a more inclusive and culturally aware population on campus, I decided to pitch a mural idea which would directly address sensitive and timely topics of race in America. During this project, I wrote an essay,"Do Black Lives Actually Matter? The Fierce Urgency of Now" which underscores the need for social change in the way that communities approach these topics, and democratic change in the ways that we show up as citizens in the world.
Following the "Still I Rise" unveiling at a poetry night at ASU, I used my time as a student to reflect on the experience through narrative. The reflection also speaks to how applying rhetoric in real life drastically changed the way I think about my own activism. I plan to continue using my platform as a black, queer, female artist to prove how art can be a unique and radically powerful act for starting conversations and creating social change.