My Intersections of Identity Experience

On Oct. 26, 2018, I got to perform spoken word at Intersections of Identity, an annual spoken word event at Iowa State University! Members of the Asian Student Union, Black Student Alliance, and Lambda Theta Alpha collaborated to make this event happen, and this year I got to be on the planning committee.

We rented out the Sun Room in the Memorial Union, and started our event at 7pm. There were a variety of different performances, including singing, slam poetry, sharing personal essays, and showcasing artwork. A total of 8 people performed or showcased their art during the first half of the event, and our friends and family were there to support us and listen. I chose to read a personal essay, and I was the third performer. Of course I was shaking and nervous before I went up, but once I got on stage I felt totally fine. My friends cheered for me, and I felt happy to be able to share my story in front of people who care about me.

We invited a guest speaker to perform for the second half of the event. Angela Aguirre, a published poet and performer, shared many of her poems with us. It was really cool to be able to watch a professional, and it inspired me a lot. She was so full of energy and passion, and she encouraged all of us to keep sharing our art.

Events like this, where students have the opportunity to share their voice and experiences, happen year-round at Iowa State! It’s really great that I had the chance to share my story among other multicultural students.

I wanted to share an excerpt from the piece I performed:

“If you just feel like you want to belong, you’re not asking for too much. You’re just asking the wrong people. If you don’t like the community you’re in or the ones you see, be the change that you wish to see, or build your own community for yourself. It takes time, but you’re still young and you always have plenty of time. You are valid and your voice deserves to be heard, but the only person who can decide to share your voice… is you.”

If you’re a student who likes to write, create, sing, dance, or anything creative, I highly encourage you to take part of events like this on campus! Share your art with others.

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