Rowan Progressives hosts “The Revolution Will Be Amplified”: uniting arts, culture and activism for change

Rowan Progressives Vice President Durwood Pinkett gives his speech at the event. Arts & Entertainment Intern / Al Harmon

On April 14, Robinson Green and Wilson Hall Oval came alive with the sounds of music, the power of spoken word, and the vibrant colors of art, as Rowan Progressives, a political college group, hosted an event called “The Revolution Will Be Amplified.” This event sought to spark a cultural change on campus by uniting various creative organizations around the idea of unapologetic activism for a better tomorrow.

The event was hosted by Rowan Progressives President Ryan Claire and event coordinator Deanna Sparling. The idea for the event came from former Vice President, Shawn Robbins, who believed that art and culture could be powerful tools to push for political change and provide a platform for students to speak their unapologetic truth.

“We wanted to basically give an opportunity to spotlight some artists or musicians to kind of align with our core values. These groups don’t get a spotlight too often,” said Claire. “A lot of times movements throughout history pushing for a culture of change are started in creative spaces through music, through art for writers.”

The event featured performances from a multitude of talented artists, including Fair Game, Unidentified Creature, Ciar, Intro To Insolence, and Shark Earrings. The bands’ performances were interspersed with speeches from volunteers who talked about fighting fossil fuels and the effects of climate change on black communities, highlighting the intersectionality of social justice issues. Spoken word performances covered topics such as the black struggle within the USA, gun violence, and giving a voice to important societal concerns.

One of the highlight speeches was given by Durwood Pinkett, the Vice President of Rowan Progressives, who talked about climate change from a black perspective. He shared accounts of climate change and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities, demanding respect and delivering powerful and well-articulated words that resonated with the audience.

The event kicked off with the emo band, Intro To Insolence, who played their first official gig after getting together in September of the previous year. The band, fronted by Rowan Progressives secretary Alexander Quinn, played a full set list that started off strong with a rendition of the Scooby Doo theme song. The band’s performance was well-received and their energy set the tone for the rest of the event.

“We were honestly honored to get a spot in something like this. We really get an opportunity to speak our own truth and talk about things that really matter like environmental justice, racial justice, etc.,” said the bassist Max Garrett. “I mean, this is really important stuff to me and the band. And that’s why I’m just so honored and so stoked to be here for what was really phenomenal.” 

In addition to the performances, the event also featured numerous stands where various clubs and student artists promoted their work. Rowan Progressives also served food, snacks, and drinks, creating a safe and fun environment for everyone to enjoy the event.

The evening ended with a powerful performance from the popular local band, Shark Earrings, leaving the audience energized and inspired to continue advocating for positive change in their community and beyond.

“The Revolution Will Be Amplified” was a testament to the power of arts and culture as tools for activism. By bringing together different creative organizations and providing a platform for students to express their unapologetic truth, Rowan Progressives created a space for meaningful conversations and fostered a sense of community among attendees.

“I hope that people realize that leftist politics are more than just theory, I hope people realize the sense of community that comes with it because I think that that helps so much with radicalizing people and just kind of bringing people into the movement,” said Yuval Saar, freshman sociology and philosophy dual-major and Rowan Progressives member. “I hope that they realize that we’re real people that want to work together. And that’s really the root cause of why we do everything we do.”

The event also highlighted the intersectionality of social justice issues, with a particular focus on the impact of climate change on marginalized communities and the need to address these issues in a holistic manner. Through speeches, performances, and art, the event aimed to educate, inspire, and empower attendees to take action and be agents of change in their communities.

The event was a resounding success, showcasing the talent, passion, and commitment of Rowan University students to create a better future through activism and creative expression. It served as a reminder that change is possible when we come together and amplify our voices for a more just and equitable world. Rowan Progressives and its members can be proud of their efforts in organizing such a meaningful event and inspiring others to continue the fight for social and political change.

To stay informed about more events hosted by the clubs or if you are looking to join yourself, check out their Instagram @rowanprogs.

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