SGA hosts “Our Voices as One” event

FMU stands in solidarity, honors victims


Photo by: Adam Rose

Jeffrey Lampkin leads YGB in a gospel song during the “Our Voices as One” event outside the Smith University Center.

Kei'yona Jordon, Copy Editor

Students, faculty and staff had a moment of silence to commemorate the 8 minutes, 49 seconds of suffering that George Floyd experienced before he died and other tragedies during the Student Government Association’s (SGA) “Our Voices as One” event.

The event was held outside from 3-4 p.m. on Oct. 1 on the Smith University Center lawn.

Senior education major Anya Bryant led the students in the moment of silence before giving her speech.

The concert was the second event of the week and despite the fears of the pandemic, many were in attendance.

Before and after the event, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. set up a tent where they encouraged and helped students register to vote.

The students were joined in the audience by President Fred Carter as well.

The event featured the Young, Gifted and Blessed Choir (YGB), the University Choir, Voice Collective and Corvon Burgess Ensemble.

Fran Coleman, assistant professor of music industry, led both the University Choir and the Voice Collective.

The University Choir performed “I am light” and the Voice Collective performed “Voice on The Wind”

YGB performed two gospel songs called “Total Praise” and “Glad to Be in the Number” while Burgess and his ensemble sang “Glory.”

SGA President Tymoshio Robinson said they wanted to use music to show the diversity on campus.

“Today, we are using our platforms to show others, and to show each other, that our voices can come together as one,” Robinson said. “Even where and when the world is divided.”

During his speech, Robinson told the audience about the purpose of the event.

“We are here today, in the midst of a pandemic, and in the middle of heightened social and racial climates, to not only bring awareness to things that are wrong in our communities and in the world,” Robinson said. “But we are here to highlight those things that make our world and communities special.”

After introducing himself and his goals to the audience, Robinson told them that the concert was not to bring attention to him or any of the speakers at the event.

“Make no mistake about it, even after saying all of that, today is not about me,” Robinson said. “Today is not about any one person you’ll be hearing from today, and today is not about any single individual in today’s audience. So why are we here? Today is about celebrating all the amazing things that make our communities wonderfully diverse and inclusive.”

Anya Bryant, a senior early childhood education major, also spoke at the event.

Bryant urged students to take the first step in creating a better world.

“We now have the blueprint necessary to demonstrate to the world the change we want to see,” Bryant said. “Patriots, it is time for us to take deliberate and thoughtful action steps toward change.”

Bryant listed three steps the students could take to do their part in making sure to create change in the world.

The first step Bryant told students was to “smell the flowers.” She compared the appreciation of the diversity of each petal on a single flower to the diversity of race and people in the world.

“However, instead of smelling flowers, stop and take time to appreciate the collection of diverse and unique individuals blossoming in the Patriot campus community,” Bryant said

The next step Bryant said was being kind to others.

“Though it may be simple,” Bryant said. “The impacts of just being kind can have a ripple effect, like a pebble in the ocean.”

The last step Bryant gave was urging the audience to vote.

“Elections are won by people who show up,” Bryant said. “Patriots, show up and raise your voice about the things that matter in the community because it is our right, duty, privilege and responsibility to vote.”