Political Activism Through Dance

Bell wasn’t only there to lecture on how she has decided to advocate for Black Lives Matter – after the lecture had concluded the chairs were set aside, Anderson .Paak blared through the sound system and the lecture hall quickly became a dance hall.

Bell said she thinks it’s important to teach people how to dance and perform because “street dance is the voice of the youth.”

“I think it’s important for us to get their voices so that (their voices) raise consciousness,” Bell said. “Using street dance as a way to connect with each other through social dance, I think that’s what important for the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Bell said that dance also serves to combat pervasive negativity.

“We are here to love … even though we have so much negativity going on,” she said. “I’m encouraging people to look within themselves to heal (themselves) in order to help heal other people.”

The overall message was “to be true to who you are, and connect in a way that is true to yourself,” said Sarra Tekola, a doctoral student at the School of Sustainability.

Tekola said that this event was important to her as a community organizer because it helps encourage students who feel oppressed to speak out.

“There’s a lot of apathy, and because of all these things that are put on (students), people don’t want to speak out,” Tekola said.

She said the event showed students that “we can speak out, we need to stand up, and we can’t be silent anymore.”

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