Open mic night to ‘Shatter the Silence’ on domestic violence

An open mic is scheduled on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at 193 Coffeehouse in the Memorial Union at the University of Rhode Island to address domestic violence awareness. The event, “Shatter the Silence,” is hosted by Ether(bound) literary magazine, Peers Learning Educating and Supporting Everyone (PLEASE), Slam Poetry Club and the outside organization, Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR).

Ether(bound) is a student run online literary magazine that showcases creative student writing and visual art. The organization seeks to create a source for a creative community around campus. PLEASE is a group of trained students in educating, facilitating and advocating for campus issues involving stalking and sexual and relationship violence.

“We aim to raise awareness about interpersonal violence and help foster a safe community at Rhode Island,” Jennifer Jackson, a peer leader for PLEASE said. “By training students to be active bystanders, connecting victims of interpersonal abuse to financial, medical, and mental resources, and empowering people in our community to intervene and speak out for themselves and others.”

Jackson hopes that the event will bring a voice for victims and those impacted by domestic violence. October is the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and so “Shatter the Silence” will be focusing their efforts around creating safe place for domestic violence victims to talk about their experiences and express themselves. There will also be a guest speaker brought in by SOAR to speak at the event.

“PLEASE is very interested in how art and activism overlap so the open mic night is there to serve as a platform for people to express what they’ve gone through,” Zoe Comingore, editor-in-chief of Ether(bound) said. “If you’re not comfortable with your own personal story you can cite somebody else or say a poem that you like about this topic.”

Although the event is centered around domestic violence, everyone is welcome to come and listen to experiences being shared or to meet members of the hosting organizations. Anyone can perform a piece on any topic of their choosing, regardless if it connects with domestic violence.

“The idea is just go talk about [domestic violence] and get it out there,” Comingore said, “So everyone is aware that this is an issue.”

If you have questions about reading or volunteering for the event, send an email to etherboundmag@gmail.com.

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Nicholas Bush
Nicholas Bush is the Web Editor for the Good Five Cent Cigar and a Junior Psychology major at URI. When he's not writing, he's working on various activism projects from mental health to nonviolence to climate change.