Sunday, September 30, 2012

Race Monologues

Lewis and Clark College holds a multi-cultural symposium ever year in which one event is especially catching. The Race Monologues gathers students from all over campus, people who I walk by everyday on my way to class, to tell their stories about race and how it has affected their lives. The last two years I have attended the Race Monologues I have laughed, cried, and related to students of all different colors, cultures, and upbringings. Every year I went I knew that I had a story just as powerful as them, I just wasn't sure how to tell it. I have always felt that I had something to share, and I think this year I finally have the words. Not only do I want to share it with all the members of my community in Portland, OR, I want to share it with the community that built me.

Every Sunday I will be attending a writing workshop much like is shown in the linked video above. We write a piece and bring it to share and discuss with our peers. I will be posting my weekly piece every Sunday evening. I'll be posting the prompts they give me, so feel free to follow along and write a piece for yourself. On November 9th we will be preforming a longer piece at the symposium in a spoken word format. I will hopefully be able to video tape the performance and post it to the blog.

MISS aims to empower women through exploration of culture and identity. Here is the beginning of my journey.

This first piece was written in response to the prompt: write a letter to someone or some institution with the things you wish you would have said to them/it. This is the little bit I got down on paper:

I had seen pictures of Alaska. 
Back in Washington angsty and 13, my family crowded around the desktop to see our soon to be home, creating a pixel deep understanding. Two years later when I met you, I was still looking at life like internet pictures. Laughing with you was like looking through old film slides. Holding this little arctic community up to the sun, you were the light shining through the film. A culture, a community,  and a family, illuminated before my eyes. 

-Hannah Atkinson


  1. Thanks for your grateful informations, this blogs will be really help for college symposium.

  2. Living away from home for two years has taught me that no matter how much I describe the place I come from and how convincing strangers sound when they say they understand a small town, the true eye-opening empathy won't be possible until they actually visit the town. I believe that my essay cannot express even half the passion I am speaking with and being a prestigious University with one the high ranking of knowledge does not mean you can understand the living situations of Rural Alaska, either. I am reaching out to your institution not because I want to benefit myself with the right resources to prepare me for the real world. I am applying in hopes I have the chance to benefit the community I will be returning to after graduation.
    When it comes to putting my accomplishments, goals, intentions, and intelligence on paper, I may not raise up to what the general US student is expected of. I cannot express enough how bad the educational resources are for rural Alaska. I cannot express enough how bad the outside resources are. It wasn't until I came to college that I realized just how small and meaningless to the country my people are. It also wasn't until I left for college that I realized how much I have been built by them, they are my inspiration.
    I am applying for the best resources I can get in order to be the best support for the growth of my community. I want to use my access to these resources to not only benefit one person, but an entire native community. There is no application for that so I apply myself today as the spokesperson.

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