On Feb. 28, The University of Tennessee’s Women’s Coordinating Council (WCC) hosted a night for creative performances in the Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium. This is not their first event, as the previous one occurred a year ago at UPerk. Participants are able to express themselves through performances that cover topics related to gender equity, anti-racism, reproductive freedom and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
The first performer was Gracie Somich, who is a sophomore majoring in creative writing. Her piece contained a content warning on abortion which she titled, “To those who legislate against my choice.” Amber Albritton also did her piece on abortion and included poems like “Hotel Snapshot” and “Hills like White Elephants.”
Albritton commented, “The venue, though large, has a well established and deeply rooted history in hosting speakers of excellence who tread bravely against the status quo of inequity and complacency: Robert Kennedy, Naom Chomsky and now, us.”
Other performers included Maya Rao who read, “A letter to an x.” In her piece, she described the end of one of her homosexual relationships from the past. Lastly, a video was shown of Darius Edwards performing “Take What’s Yours,” on behalf of The Black Musician’s Alliance.
The WCC also worked with Honey Magazine as a sponsor in putting together the event. Honey Magazine is a female-focused magazine that works with women both on and off campus to empower and celebrate the community. Director of Honey Magazine Emma Hudson did a performance called “Think(ing).” Honey Magazine are also inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.
“That these young people organized an inter-organization program, including WCC, BSU, BMA and two campus literary magazines: Honey and SEAT is astounding,” Albritton said.
Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT) is an organization that promotes the discussion and understanding of sex, sexuality and the relationships it encompasses. One member of the organization, Cole Tipton, read from an old zine called, “Hard Candy A Sex Week Zine,” that SEAT created on sex education. The selected poems were titled, “Colors,” by Black Feminist Thot and “Fertile Wound,” by Fiona Martin.
“I think my take away from the event was a general feeling of uplift,” Tipton said.
The event was a demonstration of artists that live in the Knoxville community and their work.
“I loved that it was an opportunity for artists to present their work and for organizations to demonstrate their goals that coincided with WCC’s four pillars,” Hudson said.
Edited by Gracie-Lee Strange and Grace Goodacre
Featured image by Sonya Mack