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SEO: The open-mic brews social change

Social issues brought to light in Busboys open-mic night

Encourages unity of society through love, peace, and acceptance
By: Giannina Brancato
Situated on the corner of 5th and K Street, a slew of progressive-thinking local
community members and students joined together and shuffled through the aisles to grab
a seat at Busboys and Poets weekly Wednesday night show.
Though the audience members ranged from art advocates to businesspeople, they
convened at this community- and an art-based restaurant for a common purpose: To
attend the open-mic night and to support the acceptance of individuals difference
through love and unity.
The introduction
Jonathan Tucker, the open-mic host and UMd alum,
wanted to create an environment that fostered love,
understanding and equality. To do so, he needed to
incorporate the audience throughout the two-hour event and
emphasize important ground rules.
Be respectful of others and show your love
by snapping your fingers to agree, Tucker said to
the crowd. To snap is to quench the thirst of good

The second post of Busboys and

Poets weekly open-mic night.
Photo by: Giannina Brancato

To spark discussions about peace and justice, he asked the audience members to
go beyond their comfort zones and meet at least two people. Audience members looked
around the room hesitantly.


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This is uncomfortable, Catherine Peters, an audience member and D.C.
resident, said. I didnt come with anybody I knew.
Though this forced strangers to interact with

In order to inspire
each other in a public place, Tuckers activity
social change and
accept others, we need reinforced the ideas of friendship, love and unity, which
to learn how to accept
was essential moving forward with the anticipated
ourselves first.
- LC

A different perspective
Tucker introduced the next speaker, LC. He started off his speech by saying, in
order to inspire social change and accept others, we need to learn how to accept ourselves
first. The snaps echoed around the room.
He continued on explaining how for years his race has been trying to fight for
equality, yet constantly reinforces their differences. This empowering black male left an
impact on the crowd with his critical viewpoint and inspired acceptance in others.
Tucker next introduced Ashley Canon.
She spoke about the issue of sexism and gender roles in society. I no longer want
to be neglected by society, Ashley said. Her overriding goal was to create a community
of heightened love and join people together. She wanted them to understand that the
restrictions of gender roles and the inequality of sexes is not right and can be stopped.
She suggests educating younger children and confronting those who openly
follow these guidelines set by society.


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Coming together
Tucker stepped up on the small raised stage for the last time for the night. He
stressed the importance of speaking up for what is right, so that one-day, we can all be
equal. Before finishing the event, he left the audience with these resonating words. Life
and society can be very challenging at times, he said. But dont let it define who you