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Reclaiming Our Voices displays communal strength

Antonio Pequeño IV, A&E Editor

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Organizations Homie Universidad Popular and Pillars of the Community partnered up with Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan and the National Latino Research Center of CSUSM to present Reclaiming Our Voices on Feb.16 in the USU ballroom.


Homie UP specializes in sharing stories and spreading awareness of California’s various systems of public education, criminal justice, immigration and incarceration.


Stated on the website, Pillars of the Community “…strives to counter the criminalization of our community through community organizing, leadership development and strategic partnerships.”


The event is composed of a community based storytelling and writing group that reveals “true stories of oppression and resilience,” according to the Homie UP website.


Reclaiming Our Voice consisted of rap performances, spoken word poetry and book readings from local acts such as Big June, Tru7h, Silhouette, BkSoul and Odessa Kane.


In addition to these performers, Ex-prisoners Richard Cabral and Ryan Flaco Rising shared personal stories of growing up with broken families, being on the run from law enforcement and perhaps the most gripping story of belonging to rival gangs at one point.


“Our gangs would’ve killed each other 15 years ago, but today, we’re at an event healing our community,” Cabral stated after his performance.


Rising has been out of prison for a year and a half and is currently a student leader at San Diego City College. Meanwhile, Cabral has directed his work to acting in various film and television series such as ABC TV Series, American Crime.


Reclaiming Our Voices also included the Homie UP Art Exhibit which, according to informational pamphlets, “…features over 25 original works of art shedding light on the voice and expression of individuals who are incarcerated.”

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The independent student news site of California State University San Marcos
Reclaiming Our Voices displays communal strength