By Henry Chisholm
Development Associate

What does freedom mean to you?

This was the question posed to some Common Ground students at CEIO’s Deeper Change forum. For student Inayah Sharif, CEIO’s Deeper Change forum, which featured a performance by Climbing Poetree, was inspirational.

“A lot of times people will tell you about society, but they just kind of drill into your head,” she said. “It’s never anything that’s really powerful to you. (Deeper Change) got to me in a more powerful way.”

Inayah Sharif leads her poetry team in a group poem titled: Imagine How Free We Will Be When…

Much like you, being moved emotionally caused Sharif to act. She led her poetry team, which consisted of people she just met, in a group performance of a poem entitled “Imagine how free we will be when..”

Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations, or CEIO, held their annual Deeper Change Forum at the Whitneyville Cultural Commons with a powerful, intimate and emotional performance from the poetic group Climbing PoeTree. For CG student Kaelyn Yancey, Climbing Poetree touched her heart.

“It was so good,” she said. “I kind of got emotional most of the time because I related to it in a way. I felt like they were reading my mind.”

After Climbing Poetree’s performance, they led different exercises which involved telling a stranger a story about when you had courage, or writing a poem about what freedom feels like, smells like and tastes like.  For CG student Martin Ponciano, opening up to a complete stranger was liberating.

“I felt like I met a new family with all of those people,” he said.

For more on the work Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman are doing, check out their website here

The fight for freedom for all of us is far from over. Stay inspired and help us fight by continuing to support Common Ground and finish the poem: Imagine how free we will be when? in the comments section.