USA: Portland - Poetry Flash Mob
Once Mahatma Gandhi—the great Hindu spiritualist and leader—said, “the future depends on what we do in the present.” Perhaps Gandhi fought a nonviolent war against the tyrant British government, and a nonviolent war against inequality, segregation, and racism. My question is not whether Gandhi’s nonviolent war was successful or not, but what can I do to change my community (such as Jefferson High School, “Portland Public Schools' most notorious, under-the-microscope high school”) into a better place if the future depends on what I do in the present.
I ask myself how can I create a positive image and awareness in my community. Perhaps the media is too busy portraying my school as a school where many students are trouble makes and who are threats to the community. The media only tells a single story of Jefferson High School, which almost all of them are far from the truth. This single story always makes me sick and leads me to ask myself, am I riding the bus for hours every morning just to come to a “troubled” school, or what can I do to change the single story into multiple stories.
Therefore, with the knowledge and the activism skills I have learned from Mercy Corps Action Center, I decided to work with two of my classmates whose ideas resonate with mine—the issue of single story. I teamed up with Treshawn Jackson and Angelique Stewart, and organized a “Poetry Flash Mob” at Jefferson High School on April 27, 2012 during lunchtime. This event focused on raising awareness in the community that Jefferson High School is not full of “troubled” students, rather it is full of talented and gifted poets and students who can be further enriching the community, and even the nation.
I wholeheartedly endorse what Gandhi said. I can shape tomorrow by doing something today. Perhaps the media portrays Jefferson High School as the worst school in the city of Portland. However, I strongly believe that the school has powerful and talented students who can change the media’s point of view about Jefferson from negative to positive.
"The future depends on what we do in the present." -- Mahatma Gandhi