Since 2015, the student-run Stand Up Speak Out festival has focused on issues around social justice. The intention of this year’s festival was to underscore the importance of higher education in stemming mass incarceration and promoting rehabilitation for incarcerated individuals.
This year, MMC 71st Street campus students had a creative exchange with students from the Bedford Hills College Program (BHCP). Students on the main campus participated in a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop with Theatre Professor Daphnie Sicre to inspire them to write. Junior Cassandra Cloutier ’20 gave an overview of the program. BHCP alumna/MMC student Makeda Davis and her daughter Merhanda Pierre gave a guest lecture on the importance of higher education. Suzanne Gardinier, Poetry Professor in the Bedford Hills College Program, held a crash course in poetry writing.
Poems were then forwarded to Bedford Hills where students from Suzanne Gardinier’s poetry class created new poems. Additionally, they generated film ideas and storyboards after a workshop led by Communication and Media Arts Professors Erin Greenwell, Cyrille Phipps and Yessica Curiel-Montoya.
Theatre Arts students created 5 new plays from the BHCP poems, Communication and Media Arts students created 5 original films, and Art students created 7 original watercolors. Overall, 62 students were involved between the MMC campus and the Bedford Hills site.
Below is the video gallery to view the Behind-the-Scenes, poetry/art adaptations, original films and an overview of the Bedford Hills College Program.