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Amnesty International hosts Slam Jam at The Dreamer

The Central Michigan University chapter of Amnesty Interantional held their first official Slam Jam event at The Dreamer Coffee Shop on Friday night.

Participants were encouraged to opine on topics such as social justice, diversity and human rights through a form of expression of their choosing. Between the five students who presented, performances ranged from spoken word, poetry readings and stand-up comedy.

The event was moderated by Grand Rapids sophomore Sienna Higgins, secretary for Amnesty International. Higgins was satisfied with the event turnout and the participants' enthusiasm.

"I think it went well for being the first time we've done something like this," she said. "People really seemed to enjoy it. I thinking it was a fun, small first trial run, and I hope that we can make it even better in the future."

Taking inspiration from the "Slamnesties" hosted by other national chapters of Amnesty International, the Slam Jam was the first time the registered student organization hosted a more "creative" event, Higgins said.

The CMU chapter regularly hosted volunteer work sessions and documentary screenings. However, Higgins believes that the success of the Slam Jam will open the door for similar events in the future.

Among the performers was Gladwin junior Katie Loesel. Loesel read a selection of poems from the book "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur. Having been involved with on-campus poetry groups like Word Hammer in the past, Loesel chose Kaur's work because she believed the feminist message suited the event.

"I think tonight was really good, for a first-time event," she said. "I got to talk with the people from Amnesty, as well as some of the other performers, so I think it went really well."