Renee Baker is who the Chicago Symphony Orchestra describes as a multi-disciplined engineer. She is a visual artist, filmmaker, composer, violinist and re-contextualist. I had the pleasure of hearing her give insight into the beautiful mastermind behind her masterpieces. She showed a clip of her film Borderline and described her work for the film as being a composition of instruments the audience would least expect. What most amazed me about Renee Baker, though, was her unapologetic personality. Not only is she dominating the arts with her multi-disciplined talents, she is proud in her Black womanhood. She is aware that minorities are not welcomed with open arms into her field and is brilliant anyway. At the end of her lecture she told the class there will always be misogynists, there will always be bigots, no matter who you are there will always be someone in your field who will set out to make you feel smaller – be great anyway.
With the Fall sports seasons in full swing here at the University of Illinois, you may think most athletes aren’t focused on what is happening outside of school and competition.
But for one soccer freshman, that is not the case. Lauren Smitherman is very invested in issues going on outside of herself, specifically dealing with social injustices that are running rampant in our country right now. She is a woman of color and she worries sometimes for not only her own safety, but her family’s too.
Lauren wants her voice to be heard. To learn more about her experiences and thoughts, check out my audio package here.