The road to acceptance for the LGBTQ community has been a long and arduous one, to say the least. Growing up is hard, and prejudice, homophobia. Bullying in with the mix doesn’t make it any easier. Without a doubt, most kids just want a place that they feel accepted, and like their words matter. This is where the LGBTQ club and Spoken Word Movement at Bellevue College come in.
The Spoken Word Movement was brought onto campus by Bellevue College’s LGBTQ Program Director, Ali Collucci. “The Spoken Word Movement is one that I brought to campus with another BC employee not only to provide a new resource to BC, but to provide an outlet that anyone can use to voice their concerns on and off campus,” Collucci stated.
Colluci explained how she got involved with the program. “I got involved through a leadership retreat called ‘The Student of Color Conference’ where Aaron Reader with Multi Cultural Services lead a conference on spoken word.” This wasn’t all the work that it took. To get the Spoken Word Movement to Bellevue College, it required a little more effort than that.
“Aaron Reader and Ata Karim, who also works in MCS, approached me about the movement. I was thrilled about the idea,” she said. “It made so much sense that this movement be taken off the ground because in reality, it is one of the most successful, yet least offered resource.”
BC is a diverse community comprised of all shapes and sizes, all walks of life, and a variety of personalities, which is exactly what Collucci saw with the movement in mind. “I see a campus that that understands discrimination and the real story of racism, gender-ism, homophobia and classism. Our students understand these serious barriers in our society,” she said.
When asked what Collucci wanted to see the Spoken Word Movement bring to Bellevue College she made a sarcastic comment, saying “one being that Mr. Reader and I actually come up with a name for it!” As far as events go, she would love to see quarterly and even monthly events pack Carlson Theater to the brim.
“Personally, I know that spoken word saved my life. By having it available, it does not matter if you are behind or in front of the microphone. Listening, writing, and performing, along with a lot of other devices, help with the understanding of diversity, adversity, bringing happiness to people, and over all just saving lives,” she countered when she confessed what spoken word truly means to her.
While Collucci stated that she can’t speak for the whole LGBTQ community, she has an idea of how much it means. “Whether they are a part of the community or not, individuals will benefit from having this resource available to them. To those who don’t know about the impact of spoken word, they will do what most of us have been doing for a while… Wondering why it hasn’t been on campus longer,” Collucci said.
Whether you suffer from stage fright or feel uncomfortable sharing your feelings with others, just know that The Spoken Word Movement and the LGBTQ community is right on campus for you. If you are at all interested in getting involved with this revolutionary program, stop by Student Programs in the Student Union.