On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Pomona College students gathered in Room 208 of the Smith Campus Center to “listen, bond, and grow” over a range of immigrant experiences and perspectives. The unique space allowed for students to empower themselves by sharing their stories through expository speaking and poetry.
Themes that surfaced in performances included injustice, poverty, and racism, and the event shed light on the challenges faced when one immigrates to the United States. Yet, they were also seen as a call to action, since identifying the challenges and problems of immigrants is the first step to solving those problems.
The first student talked about his sense of identity and hopes from moving to the U.S. from Mexico at a young age, while another performed a poem detailing the experiences of being an undocumented immigrant in the United States.
This open mic event will be part of a series hosted by Bold Exchanges, “a new organization that brings communities together to exchange … experiences, challenges, and solutions.” Bold Exchanges believes that creating a space within which students can come together and feel safe to share their experiences is essential for building a safe and welcoming community for students of all backgrounds. The group aims to not only identify the problems of those affected by the relevant issues, but to build a community around them that comes together to help fight those problems.
The following open mic events will be held on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 and will focus on mass incarceration and police brutality, respectively. The events will culminate in a final convening of 5C students, staff, and community members to have a discussion on how to take tangible steps to combat these issues.