Collected Poems from all Poetry Project work: Fall 2017 Imagining America — to Fall 2019 Student Summit
Table of contents:
- Fall 2017 Barb Clauer’s stanzas from the Imagining America 2017 Community-Generated Poem “Imagining America” (link to full project post)
- Fall 2017 Poems Barb Clauer wrote from community-generated responses from Fall 2017 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry students (link to full project post)
- Spring 2018 Inaugural LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project (link to full project post)
- Spring 2018 “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” Black History Month Event (link to full project post)
- May 2018 Professional Development Day Poetry Project Session (link to full project post)
- Fall 2018 Homelessness Poetry Project in collaboration with Professor Judy Allen’s and her docu-play I Have a Name (link to full project post)
- Spring 2019 Black History Month “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” sessions March 19th and March 20th, 2019 (link to full project post)
- Spring 2019 LCC One Book (now called Capital Area One Book) Poetry Project with Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give (link to full project post)
- Spring 2019 LCC One Book Wrap-Up session (link to full project post)
- Fall 2019 Community-Generated Poetry Activity for the September 20th, 2019 Inaugural LCC Student Summit on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (link to full project post)
1. Fall 2017 Barb Clauer’s stanzas from the Imagining America 2017 Community-Generated Poem “Imagining America” (Link to the full poem titled “Imagining America”)
America is a dizzy boxer, A forwarded meme, a vegan carnivore. But its dream can be a nightmare for the hateful, Haunting them. It loves the love that is difficult, Tries to remember to be a citizen of the entire world, To do something About it With a work of art forged from Ephemera used in direct action. America is fractal, a chaotic, confusing gem With inequalities and injustice in its inner workings, In access to the fruits of its labor – A drunk bumblebee stuck on a hibiscus plant Crying tweets. But if we could imagine A new American superhero What would her superpowers be? A collage of empathy for others, transcendence, Umoja (“unity” in Swahili), A West Coast statue of Unity Accumulated through adding stones To others’ sculptures by the American River, Blessing the survivors of her wrath.
2. Poems Barb Clauer wrote from community-generated responses from Fall 2017 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry students
America Is America is a contradiction. Arrogance + ignorance like those who once thought the sun revolved around the earth. A meddling klutz who means well, but falls in the pool just dipping its toes in. A moody teenager pushing away the adults, but still asking for dinner. A pep squad: shouting, shouting, shouting tossing each other in the air, smiling through a pulled muscle. America is the gusting wind fraying its own flag. A dog snapping and barking to be loved. The shock of a cold lake full of bright fish after a hot tub of rippling anger. Apathy catcalls empathy. An illness chokes America, rectangular like money. Always open to the prospect of development, merchandise everlasting absolved of accountability. America is a mirage, ephemeral as a cloud floating away blocking the sun even as it evaporates. *** Poetry Is Poetry is a park in the walk playing with words on a language jungle gym. Parades of flying and flightless birds riding a free breeze purposefully overlooking excused rules. Poetry sneaks into your dreams through the open door to gaze upon the poet you are there and steal the opulence of words screaming from your fingertips. Poetry allows reconciliation and yielding, room to pretend and play with cliché. Years are lost but always there. Everyone involved neglects reality, time travel is possible.
3. Spring 2018 Inaugural LCC Community-Generated Poetry Project
¿Shackled in Freedom? by Brad Chattaway, Jesse Hamilton, and Uriah Lahti Dead broke and feeling sour Woke up and didn’t even shower Ignite the beater and off I wander Dodging millions of potholes over yonder Off to LCC I go A career I can enjoy that supports me And maybe even some extra change for the family But how can I get all the way to school If I can’t park my car…maybe carpool? Lost at LCC I am. I get to class and am blown away At all the homework we have for the day But not once have I ever raised my hand I sit there lost and confused about supply and demand Lost at LCC I am. One thing we want is BETTER SECURITY And we believe in ECONOMIC EQUALITY I never take tests and I still get a hundred I don’t know why, but that grade will get me off this cheap bed. Searching for parking, for what seems like days I am tired, hungry Anxious about my grades Throttling the car to my newly earned place emotions swell My procrastination piling up homework already from hell, leaving me gasping, trying to do well Now I bolt for my class I’ve just missed the bell But all can be well If we refuse to fall victims to procrastination in a forced yet functional community we can overcome hate of all every person religion, or nation. I find myself asleep in a nap between classes just trying to keep my GPA consistent But it’s hard to be persistent when I’m chained in this prison for which I must pay. As I complete my assignments drinking cheap liquor I reflect what I pay for is not just solitary confinement we make good friends run into old ones tie up loose ends. We are learning at discount, Just like my liquor we are open minded even as some of our skulls are thicker. On others – our positive difference we can amount. Now as I set down my unsatisfying cup I know we are not those who’ve all but given up, submitting to “the last chance college.” Together a family, we walk down the path of happiness knowledge our condition is math one problem, many solutions. Although we are shackled we’re shackled in freedom, our failures help us, as long as we see them. There’s an obligation to encourage and inspire Gaining knowledge to spark an idea like a fire Discovering a love for different cultures We are free, not frozen like a sculpture Spending time with the people I love While shooing away racism like a dove Here, learning is the goal to motivate the youth is our role to be successful you must work hard have fun in the world like it’s your backyard Now I’m living on a beach sipping a mojito Living large on the island of Wakito Cuz’ I’m dead broke and feeling sour. Woke up and didn’t even shower Survived LCC I did. *** Brokeback College by Jaquanna Carter, Kayla Norris, Tricia Wickens, Emilee Wilcox Brokeback college It’s like a Ponzi scheme, eating my money and my time The most expensive simultaneous ego boost and ego shatter I’ll ever participate in Full of lonely lesser-thans “Last Chance College” It’s college on easy mode that’s why you get good grades You’re just solving problems someone already knows the answer to. Waiting 10 minutes for someone to back out of their parking spot they never did Is it over yet? Powering through malady like a bittersweet symphony Participation, connection, empathy Stressful but worth it. I am phenomenal, Powerful. I’m not afraid to move forward Moving forward there’s hope for everyone. It’s not where we came from but where we are going. We don’t need superhero powers; What we do is good enough. We will one day be greater and stronger. *** Last Chance of College by Grace Carroll, Gracie Smith-Jobski, Ebonee Young The earth actually could be flat Fast forward time Looking both ways before crossing the street, and then getting hit by a plane Leaving on a jet plane Long journey with no exact destination A series of unfortunate events You can never park anywhere Steal parking spots Where people stalk you for your parking spots Taking the L Being stuck between child and adulthood College turns a teenager into an adult My patience wears thin more quickly than i thought Came 40 minutes early to school and was still late because I couldn’t get a parking spot I am very A pebble, small and boring A colone of ants LCC weight on my shoulders, like a weight Its smart to go to to save money Money Rich AF-2Chainz Be prepared to be tired Lansing is like a home i don’t want to live in The place you dred going to High school on drugs I prepares for real life College is like the food chain, someone is always going to be better and smarter than you Transfer students: the ones who got away My daughter cancer I like to procrastinate everyweek LCC concert, a musically painful moment Lansing is like big and new I was not born in lansing so it is different being from a small town If i met one of my LCC professors in 5 years it would be at fun and we would talk about what we doing compelet *** As Yet Untitled by Lorisa Bolinger, Echo Canaday, Ryanne Gumfory, and Courtney McLaren I just go to LCC a last chance college the first step toward the future where I want to be somebody but I’m locked in conformity a cage, an empty room a blank wall so much potential Our community, a pack of wolves, brings security, a thriving ecosystem the true heart of the state a beehive all sorts of buzzing and humming, everyone doing their own thing constant panic too many people do the wrong thing. I’m not living for myself. Welcome to the club. The roads are terrible The earth might actually be flat I’m on a long journey with no exact destination on a busy street that never sleeps filled with pebbles small and boring the smallest stepping stones anyone can go to college I owe it to myself to take control I am somebody to love and be loved community is like a human blood stream, an open-ended family a giant pot of boiling opinions that taught me not everyone has the same heart as me and so together through bagels, buildings and a whole lot of stairs we grow and learn and start.
4. Spring 2018 “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” Black History Month Event
Student-created poems inspired using first lines from: “Harlem”, “I, Too” and “Let American Be America Again” What happens to a dream deferred? Does it feel rage over being forgotten Or does it not give a fuck? Does it wait for the door to reopen? Or does it wither? Does it close its eyes like a dead body? A dream doesn’t come to a sleeper Or does it? Is it all nothing and no longer holds meaning? Do you get one chance or two? Like a butterfly God’s proof that you get two lives. *** I, too sing but not to America I, too, sing. America is a land of mixed genres, where it shouldn’t be judged on the person’s point of view. I, too, love myself, but unlike you, I know when I’m wrong and love myself strong. We all bleed the same color but, we are all separated. I am the broken brother, but unlike Humpty Dumpty, I can put myself together. I, too, sing America for peace all over. Put down the guns and pick up the love. I am successful – technologically advanced. I am the future, the innovators of upcoming America. I, too, sing American; I see the potential you can be. *** Let America be America again. When people cared more about each other and less about defense. When people built bridges instead of worrying about a fence. Pretend with your benevolence yet black can’t equal excellence. Let America nourish and empower Let America be America again. Let me be me once again no conformity, no difference because of a “friend”. Let everyone love everyone again and all of us be equal again and everyone be a team again. America lost to the sea in the horizon without regard to the past or the present. Let American be America again Let us all go back to being the melting pot, where crime wasn’t labeled one race and kids go outside and play on the slide coming back home in one piece.
5. Poetry Project: May 2018 Professional Development Day Poetry Project Session
LCC is like a busy street that never sleeps, a home I don’t want to live in, constantly planning a wedding. A beehive, all sorts, buzzing & humming. A giant fishbowl, it’s a cozy little space. Came 40 minutes early, still late to class, couldn’t find a parking spot… afraid to use the Gannon bathroom. Staying up all night drinking coffee So much potential, locked in conformity. Oh say can you tell how my future will be? I hope I don’t regret this. by Dan Holt, Marcy Bauman, Sarah Steinhour, Meg Elias, and Matt VanCleave *** Anyone can go to college. A bittersweet symphony, A young person’s dedicated Hell, A nightmare with a happy ending, “She tried.” Started from the bottom, now we here, A kid at the starzone. Cheaper than most places, Meijer life statuses, A ponzi scheme, Of who they think I am, I met my boyfriend outside of poetry, I can’t get off. It’s our shithole. Maybe that’s ok. by Rob McLoone, Tim Deines, Jeff Janowick, and Regina Gong *** LCC stood proud, concrete exterior hard as a shell, but inside she held a soft happy secret Your average student got a 100% on a test that I never took & never raised my hand My future is bright and luminous hope before life goes to shit My life be like a box of chocolate money without inflation remarkably, unremarkable Get everyone to love one another By watching them like zoo animals. by Kali Majumdar, Anne Heutche, Ami Ewald, and Rosalie Petrouske
6. Poetry Project: Fall 2018 Homelessness Poetry Project in collaboration with Professor Judy Allen’s and her docu-play I Have a Name
Both poems were authored by the whole Fall 2018 ENGL 201 Introduction to Poetry class: Avery Beyea, Olivia Bush, Nicole Cade, Schuyler Clark, Caite Eddy, Julita Fenneuff, Shelby Frink, Ashley Guston, Danielle Hook, Dayona Jennings, Elliot Lowe, Morris Luckett, Maya Ludtke, Mikey Lutz, John Mertke, Mariah Mitchell, Mitchell O’Brien, Douglas Patterson, Brenden Scott, Claire Taylor, Hayden Torra and Tayler Woog
My mother tells me not to look at them;
they have a name, but only the local charity cares.
I avoid eye contact and try not to stare,
I can’t do enough, I’m not charity, I’m me.
It’s easier to ignore them than to ask them about their story.
If they approach me I say,
I don’t have my wallet on me.
I have limited resources.
I don’t have time.
Lost in the depths
I see no escape from
my unfortunate fate
I have been reduced to
nothing but insulting words
And I’m always where the darkness glows
where good dreams hide,
Nightmares are shown
Home is a disappearing act, one moment it’s
there and then another it fades
The street is the sanctuary for the
Loneliness is like dreamlessness
“living the dream”!
A malnourished, American dream
Dream of a New Beginning
I dream of the day I
will be considered. I
vacate my former dream
the next day and the next
day and the next
Chased by nightmares
of what tomorrow brings.
Existing but, not living
1 day I’ll become a business
making my Dream…
I am not a stranger to the cold
As passersby don’t meet my eye,
They never see my pain
I have a name
I am one of you
I have an identity, a heart
Don’t banish my soul.
“Why should I help a stranger?”
I don’t want your money
You don’t know what I have
They glare, none seem to care
Under the dirt is a person that’s hurt
You don’t know my name
I was left behind.
Another stranger who can’t meet my eye
The constant flow of people around me
never acknowledge I exist
I am different
I am the one they avoid
How could you love a stranger?
I have a name.
You see me as a stranger but I can be a friend.
Less judgment more effort.
I’m calling to action
those who choose to be willingly blind.
In a perfect world,
we would lift others up,
instead of leaving them down.
Never think of a homeless person
as just another stranger, they have a name.
Give conversations instead of coins.
A stranger to familiar faces
judging by looks instead of seeking the story.
Every stranger has a name, a voice.
Though a stranger I remain,
Hope I will maintain.
There is more to charity than just giving.
Charity is another term for love.
Help another human being;
it can turn their life around.
In human dignity we find happiness. Now
I’m in your family
I’m in your heart
I’m human again.
It was my past, but it could be me again.
It could be you.
When you have no home of your own
you must learn to find a home within yourself
you must find strength to keep living
and better yourself.
You eat and sleep and breathe just as me,
I just have no home or place to be.
I have a heart, and lungs, and working brain,
even though I have no home, I have a name.
I am more than meets your eyes.
My strength may have dwindled but the fire has only grown.
My body is my temple so I call it my home.
Home is a picture painted differently in every mind.
Home is where the heart is, the people
you are surrounded and loved by.
I am a person with a life.
I have an idea of stability,
I have a name.
I have a dream,
a dream to be like you,
a dream of new beginnings.
I have a name:
For the time being,
you probably don’t dream of being like me,
how life was before,
how life used to be.
When I have a name,
I become a bird
and dream about everything.
Just like you,
I have a name.
7. Poetry Project: Spring 2019 Black History Month “Creating Poetry/Creative Resistance” sessions March 19th and March 20th, 2019
Poems from 3.19.19 session What happens to a dream deferred? Is it swept like dirt under a rug? Or does it spread like an invasive bug? Or is it never really forgotten like a lost loved one? Is it built like a tank, yet hard to hit? Or does it shrivel, like a plant without water? Does it vanish, like freedom that has perished? Does it follow like a shadow, or wash away on a rainy day? Does it wash away because of life events? or do you let your peers deter you away from it? Or are you free to be as everybody else? Does it disappear to the back of your mind, reappearing randomly just to be pushed away again? Or is it just simply that a dream so long deferred becomes a dream no longer? by: Zion Chisolm, Emily Castle, Cy Church, Charlese DuMond, Morris Luckett, Quan Tran, Kalyn VanWormer, Sydney Green --- I, too, sing America Although I am different. I sing to millions and billions. Tell that girl to get her own style because I am unique. You may not think – But I already do My occupation does not define me. I laugh, cry, and hurt just as much as they do. I forge ahead, my path, my own. We are blessed by our heavenly God. He has given us a new way to live, A healing comfort of pain and mind. by: Christopher Marral, Oscar William Navichoc, Tionne Heard, Alaina Dempsey, Retha Moore, Jalen Steele, Brand Bekke, Courtney Bryan, Skye Keeslar, Grace Thelen --- Let America be America again. Let our voices be heard Let the judgements stop Allow us to be 100% ourselves all the time Let it be a place of joy And not a place of pain Back to a time with no discrimination A place with no stereotypes Where you can run around freely No matter the color of your skin Let America be America Again Let it be a place where indigenous people Are once again treated with respect Let it be the true “melting pot” it claims to be That gives everybody equality Let America be America again When did America officially lose itself? Who’s not letting America be America? But what was America? Looking back in time, why would we want this? Who does the repetition benefit? Let American shape itself. by: Ruby Edsall-Parr, Caleb Harrison, Ethan Mongean, Caleb Friddle, Rose Fox-Long, Emily VanElls, Serena Boak, Juhyun Lee, Marquis Jeffries, Kelsey Connor --- Poem from 3.20.19 Let America be American again Let open-mindedness spark opportunity, Let colonizers be free from strain Inputting diversity and producing creativity. (America is still trying to be America to me.) Dreams have been dreamed Love expanded from the land Never kings wear fake crowns And dares the destruction of someone’s hand (America is something America will never be.) “Let America be America again Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed Let it be that great strong land of love.” Let America be America again When walls come down and bridges are embraced, Where undocumented immigrants are Connected with family rather than separated Cold dreams, thoughts and tears Washed away like dirty water, The sweetness of my heart fade into the darkness of my own loneliness Let America be America Again Without the violence, the pain, and the suffering. Let America be awesome. If I had a choice, I would take the flag and Burn it, because it has so much bloodshed, And create something new: a flag that’s clean. Let America be great again. by: Gary Cox, James Henson, Daniel Morgan, Prisca Mtimavalye, Leticia Naverro
8. Poetry Project: Spring 2019 LCC One Book (now called Capital Area One Book) Poetry Project with Angie Thomas’ novel The Hate U Give
Written by LCC students Emmerson Myhre, Lauren Nugent, Kurstina Simmons, and Tucker Tatroe, this poem came from source material written by other LCC students in response to prompts concerning identity and feeling pressure to code-switch Hidden Beneath My Skin Is A Soul That Nobody Will See This is not me, nor do I want it to be Feels like I am in camouflage It’s hard to see yourself as the same person In a situation where people Call you by a different name It’s like we have to put on a different mask every day I am the work me I am the school me I am the home me I am the friend I could be an actress Standing for too long in one spot Truth disguised Broken identity Overwhelming urge to belong Doing everything right And still being afraid that everything will go wrong Exhausted Feeling trapped gets tiring Changing for others instead of ourselves Obligated If I didn’t My Christian grandparents would know I’m agnostic It feels like a burden and a lie Not being who I am on the inside Like…if I don’t I’ll be an outcast I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid It’s okay to not be “perfect” Unless you allow society to tie your own hands behind your back Craving their acceptance Because we are insecure We can never win --- Written by LCC students Killian Burcham, Madison David, Audrey Spitzfaden, and Chloe Teunis, this poem came from source material written by other LCC students in response to prompts concerning the cover of The Hate U Give and racism. Read Me A misunderstanding by white Supremacists who live their Lives in fear and anger, Unnecessary negativity. Racists are lowlifes with Nothing better to do. Frustrating, Overwhelmed by the hate Oppressors give: HATE Brings out something within us We do not recognize. Karma Can come crashing, What do you expect when You give hate? A woman taking a stand against The hate you spread, Putting up a barrier to protect Herself from what’s happening To her. “They don’t understand even If they’re really trying to” Is an excuse. It implies there’s nothing White people can do to Change. We can’t spark change if we Show no change. Heartbreaking, I feel less than human. --- Written by LCC students Levi Lantz, Taylor Matlock, Sam Nichols, and Jake Sinnaeve, came from source material written by other LCC students in response to prompts concerning identity and feeling pressure to code-switch Identity I can never be myself. Blank canvas. ReD = Family BluE = Friends GreeN is the real me Living Two lives is exhausting and overwhelming If I were not to change I would be an outsider The people in my life decide who I am At the end of the daY, people will see me as they choose to. --- Written by LCC students Robert Glew, Raymond Latchaw, Victor Verhil, and Keaton Woods, this poem came from source material written by other LCC students in response to prompts concerning recognizing one’s privilege and fearing the police. It’s a Luxury I can’t help but feel upset. Yet I continue unphased. Recognizing the image when blurry, but not in full focus. I never had to work during high school, watching others worry while I haven’t had to consider it. Feels like I’m taking something for granted. As we grow, we’re all led to believe that the color of our skin is supposed to define who I am, for “better” or “worse”. To realize you benefit from a privilege, could make you feel more important than others. When in reality, you earned something that isn’t deserved. It’s not just color though. I pass a homeless man; despite treating everyone with respect and humor, I’m somehow complicit in the misfortune of others. Not everyone wants to have that privilege over someone because of skin color and status.
9. Poetry Project: Spring 2019 LCC One Book Wrap-Up session
This poem, written by Suzanne Bernsten, Sierra Bouyer, Curlada Eure-Harris, Julie Linderleaf, Jeanettia Green, Marah Jones, and Robert Moore was inspired by the poem “Hidden Beneath My Skin Is A Soul That Nobody Will See” written by LCC students Emmerson Myhre, Lauren Nugent, Kurstina Simmons, and Tucker Tatroe. Both poems were inspired by prompts concerning identity and feeling pressure to code-switch The life from which you choose This is not me, nor do I want it to be Who am I if I am not only myself? Why is there a secret that I cannot share with everyone? The person who others feel I should be. Angry, angry at society. Made to feel I am less… Stereotyped. Like a superpower that can be summoned on demand. It can be exhausting. I feel trapped beneath a false face. If I hide, I feel it is not the real me. But if I don’t, I fear you won’t like what you see. I wonder what it’s like to always be yourself What is it like to be unaware? Some people may not be themselves living their lives as a lie Feeling as if they chose to be themselves That person wouldn’t exist anymore Because they haven’t been themselves in a long time. Who gets to see the real me? Who am I with? What will I show? I am unique 100% A complex identity is a high, life right! We are human genomes 99% shared. --- This poem, written by Yolanda Crim, Jahmallia Forde, Patti Goggins, Alex Gradilla, Prisca Mtemavalye, Leticia Navarro, Ronnie Oliver Jr., Curtis Pratt, Jonathan Rosewood, and Kimberly Skorna was inspired by the poem “Identity” written by LCC students Levi Lantz, Taylor Matlock, Sam Nichols, and Jake Sinnaeve. Both poems were inspired by prompts concerning identity and feeling pressure to code-switch I can never be myself. Blank canvas. Trapped between two walls of communication I’m on a journey to discover and grow into a future of self. Please don’t judge each other or what we see today. Why do we need to put a label on ourselves? Am I not good enough? Are you better than me? Am I not human? Let me be me. Brown, red, white, blue. Born here, went there, told I’m everywhere. To be myself in this environment, would I be outcasted? White supremacy plus poverty suppresses me. My ultimate wish is to express me, and to JUST let be. It feels like energy gets depleted at a very fast rate. I accept myself for who I am, If you don’t feel free…just leave. --- This poem, written by Tonya Bailey, Monica Hemingway, Nan Jackson, Melissa Kaplan, Aida Rochid, and Sirpenia Stewart was inspired by the poem “Read Me” written by LCC students Killian Burcham, Madison David, Audrey Spitzfaden, and Chloe Teunis. Both poems were inspired by prompts concerning the cover of The Hate U Give and racism. Read Me, Don’t judge me, Don’t overlook me Don’t exclude me Rather Maximize Experiencing Who I am I am Human I have no words to tell you What you don’t know about me So ready to brush off Push away Deny Mom said “no that’s a hairstyle for black girls” It’s like a brick wall Dad said, “I don’t want you dating black men. They’re no good.” A blank stare And my brother overheard. Every day is like they think they understand, but do they really? Why is there still hate in this modern day? Why hasn’t it gone away? Where have we gone astray? Maybe we’re hiding The Hate We Give How about loving, caring, and sharing with others because we are all loveable and important. --- This poem, written by Mindy Barbarskis, Greg Berry, Joshua Braswell, Alma Cameron, Ellie Darnell, Mia Misner, and Dr. Pamela Smith was inspired by the poem “It’s a Luxury” written by LCC students Robert Glew, Raymond Latchaw, Victor Verhil, and Keaton Woods. Both poems were inspired by prompts concerning recognizing one’s privilege and fearing the police. I can’t help but feel upset With the rise in racism When I feel our American court system is not fair to all our Citizens When someone does not hear or see me When I am not seen for myself I feel like a broken record saying “I’m sorry” The rich white people protect their perfect world I can’t help but feel upset When I am split between both sides That most black men fear the police How do I separate myself from white hands on a loaded gun? I can’t help but feel upset My parents won’t acknowledge their white skin safety White privilege not being recognized.
10. Poetry Project: Fall 2019 Community-Generated Poetry Activity for the September 20th, 2019 Inaugural LCC Student Summit on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Poem by Areli Espinosa, Courtney Kidder, Joe Martin, and Bridget Denise Webb, inspired by the line “I, too, have a voice”: I, too, have a voice I can speak. Let me speak Speak up Speak out Activism, Advocacy I, too, can make a difference What happened to We are Americans? I, too, can represent, because we all represent beauty. And that beauty makes the picture. I, too, have importance I, too, contribute to the picture The picture does not have to be perfect There is no right way to be me There is no right way to be beautiful. Does race matter in America? Let the haters eat in the kitchen. --- Poem by Mahima Biswa, Gary Cox, Kenneth Franklin (MSU BSA), Esmerelda, Prisca Mtimavalye, and Richard Winston inspired by the line “I, too, have a voice”: I, too, have a voice. I feel pain; I feel lost. I, too, cry in the late night. I, too, have feelings. I am hurt, so why did you leave? I, too, have a voice. It is just as important as others. It is filled with confidence and hope. I will use it without regret. I, too, will shout until I am heard. I, too, pay attention. --- Poem by Dina Abdulamir, Kyle Atwood, Hadel Essa, and Terrell Nelson inspired by the line “I, too, am America”: I, too, am America I am the last one I, too, is proud of what I am. I am not free as a black man I, too, am a survivor of hatred. --- Poem by Madison Buckholz, Maria del Mar Osma Potes, Jahmallia Forde, Brandon Lawler, Lisa Morgan, Angela Patrick, and Katrina Zimmermann inspired by the line “I, too, am America”: I, too, am America… I am able to use my voice to say I, too am America… I live, work, learn, socialize. I pay taxes and help make America great again. We, too, are America… Although we were born near and far. I, too, am America… I chafe under your expectations of home and hearth. I, too, am America… Oppressed and marginalized. Poor and ostracized. I, too, am America… Where there is freedom. But, is it really free? --- Poem by Cortney Browning ,Carl Browning, Jr., Keonte Campbell, Alex Rivera Cordero, Marisa Elzy, Basil Oli, and Alyeea Turner, inspired by the line “I, too, am powerful”: I, too, am powerful. I, too, am important, I, too, possess value. My resistance is my display of power, God gave me power! My presence is strong. My thoughts are valuable, I bring a different flavor of strength to the team to make the team powerful. I am strong. They speak, like I am young. I am not. My mind is clear, and I wait patiently. One day they will look at me and realize, I, too, am powerful. I, too, am a black woman, I have a voice that is more than just noise. I, too, am powerful. Embracing my uniqueness and how it shows up in how I talk, how I walk, and carry myself. Feudal lords look down on the scrambling serfs, that are we Except you refuse to be that lowly figure. You are the overpass Whose level I aspire to meet.