On Tuesday 18 February at lunch, the Social Justice and Equity Committee held its second and possibly last Spoken Word Poetry Café in the MGCI library. Spearheaded by Maria Kashif, the Social Justice and Equity Representative, the event charged $2 admission per person. Committee members donated doughnuts and danishes, which were provided as snacks. The seats steadily filled up until some of the audience had to stand. “It’s great to see so many people here, engaged and interested,” commented Rawnak Amin, a grade 11 student.
The presenters were Michelle Nyamekye, Ananna Rafa, Fatema Diwan, Safiya Dakhli, Ezana Micheal, Maria Dasoo, Derya Kurt, Nida Shaikh, Nafi Chaudaury, and Hamza Shahid. Topics were not limited to Black History Month, thus the ten speakers addressed a variety of subjects, such as rape culture, bulimia, self-esteem, and perceptions of beauty. Wafa Fasih and Idris Ali filmed and photographed the café.
“The performances were great! The performers have so much talent and courage to be able to present in front of so many people,” said Maria Kashif. “The idea of doing a spoken word café at school was a very original one of mine and it went so well the first time that people pushed me to do another one. I initially said this would be the last one, however people seem to really be pushing for another one so we’ll have to see! It really brings people together, so I’m happy I can make that possible.”
The café managed to raised a grand total of $114.80, which will go entirely towards funding the travelling Black History Museum. Hafsa Akhlaq, a grade 11 student, noted that “the Social Justice and Equity Committee doesn’t get enough credit; we do lots of super cool events. It’s just hard to spread the word.”
The Social Justice and Equity Committee will be holding Spoken Word Workshops on 27 February. There will be two sessions allowing a maximum of 30 students each, and they will take place in the afternoon after lunch. The workshops aim to help further develop performing and poetry writing skills. Interested students should contact Maria Kashif or Mr. Alexander by the end of this week.