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CCM Summer’s “Be the Change” workshop involves Prep Musical Theater students

The Juneteenth-inspired curriculum was designed to encourage young actors to stand up for themselves and other people. It aimed to promote the identity of all artists and to support each actor in developing pride, self-confidence and building deep connections with others. Each guest artist presented workshops and discussions focused on social justice issues.

Deondra Means, a professional artist, actor and writer at The Children’s Theater in Cincinnati, led a class where students developed personal stories about a discriminatory incident between the characters. This involved participants in how to evoke empathy and acquire problem-solving skills. Derek Snow, a professional artist, writer, actor and director from Cincinnati, has facilitated a discussion of harmful stereotypes by exploring works that portray characters who are being treated unfairly based on their identities.

Sherry McCamley, a professional musician, actor, writer and artist from Cincinnati, has implemented activities to counter potential over-generalizations or stereotypes that exist in the artist’s environment. Matt Galen, a professional actor and teacher at the American Legacy Theater, involved the young artists in a group exercise designed to help them take something that is perceived as “unfair” and turn it into something “right”.

CCM Summer thanks the CCM DEI Committee for sponsoring this event.

Sunday, June 19, 2022, marked the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth, a long-celebrated date to commemorate the delayed emancipation of enslaved blacks in the United States. While President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, his edict could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. When Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, the army announced that the more than a quarter of a million enslaved blacks in the state were free by executive decree. This day was celebrated as Juneteenth.

President Joe Biden signed the bill to officially turn Juneteenth into an American federal holiday last year and UC suspends most campus activities in honor of the federal holiday.

“Our hope is that we, as the university community, can use this time to pause and reflect on the horrific injustices of our nation’s past. We can also commit ourselves to fighting the systemic racial inequalities that continue today and dedicate ourselves to inclusion, equity. and justice, “reads the joint statement by UC President Nevile G. Pinto and Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Bleuzette Marshall. “As we observe Juneteenth this year, we are confident that it will serve as a touching reminder of where we have been as a society and inspire us to do everything in our power to seek a more equitable and just future for all.”

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