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Speaking up for women everywhere

The 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day was celebrated on campus at a spoken word night, hosted by the Dalhousie/King’s Oxfam Campus Group on March 8 at the Grad House.

The dynamic setlist of artists included the likes of first-year Dalhousie student Brett Emmons, folk rock and acoustic band Wiebo, and the featured spoken word artists El Jones and Native Son

The night started strong when singer-songwriter Brett Emmons took to the stage with his guitar, performing his heart-felt original songs including “Run With Them” and “The Birds.” His soulful and meaningful lyrics took the audience to a different place and made them feel what he felt. The final song Emmons played was not an original, but the all-time Ben E. King classic, “Stand By Me.”

The next performers on the set list was folk-rock and acoustic band Wiebo. This dynamic trio consists of lead singer and guitarist Kevin An-Jager, back up vocalist, Nicole Mitchell, and drummer Laura Spatzel. They performed songs with meanings that made them a perfect fit for International Women’s Day. “Beauty’s Mamma” is based off the Oscar winning film *Yesterday*—a heart-wrenching story about a South-African mother named Yesterday, diagnosed with AIDS. This song contains soulful and meaningful lyrics that made the audience feel it— “I want to save your smile and kill your disease.”

The night ended off with a bang when the two featured spoken word artists, El Jones and Native Son, took to the stage. El Jones began with a piece about Omar Khadr, which was not so related to women, but still amazing. That was followed by a piece breaking the stereotypes about the names of black women that was truly powerful, not just through her words, but the way she performed. Her stamina and passion was present in every word spoken, leaving a large impact on the audience.

Native Son ended the night with three fantastic pieces including “Billie Holiday”—the life story of the 1940’s jazz singer and songwriter, “Skin Deep”—an articulate and well spoken piece about body image, and “Dry Bones”—a piece about Native Son’s own experience as a police officer in Bermuda.

Since this year marked the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, the Dalhousie/King’s Oxfam Society started the 100 letters campaign. Females write letters covering one out of four topics including a wish for women, a women of inspiration, their vision for the 200th International Women’s Day, and when they first actually became interested in women’s rights.

Oxfam is an NGO dedicated to finding solutions to global poverty, injustice, and inequality. They have greatly emphasized the importance in gender equality as a first step into finding solutions to other major global issues.

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