The Raise Your Voice program was launched in academic year 2020-2021 as a joint effort between the Office of First-Year Advising and the AUx Program.
As part of the program, students enrolled in AUx courses will read and discuss a work written by a Black, Indigenous, or other Person of Color (BIPOC) that speaks to the lived experiences of BIPOC individuals and communities. The books will be selected not only for how the authors raise their voice against oppression that they and their communities face but also for how the authors highlight the joys and celebrations of their communities. The selected work can come from a variety of literary genres, such as literary fiction, poetry, non-fiction or memoir and will deal with issues and themes that are part of the AUx2 curriculum.
The Raise Your Voice program will extend beyond the book itself and will include additional opportunities and related events for students to learn about these issues and to empower them to raise their own voices as accomplices to dismantling systemic racism and white supremacy and working towards racial justice. Information about additional events will be forthcoming.
The selection for academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 is When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors and journalist and activist asha bandele. Khan-Cullor’s memoir is an intimate and personal account of her and her family’s experience with systemic racism at the hands of law enforcement, in education, in housing, and in other social contexts. At the same time, Khan-Cullor’s memoir celebrates how they were able to create a community of care to support and love one another and to empower themselves to speak their truth.
The Raise Your Voice Program was proposed by current and former members of the First-Year Advising team. Thank you to Roshan Abraham, Rachel Brown, Sarah Jones, Esther Philip, Aja Simpson-Zulfiqar, and Munroe Bell-Rose.