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‘Lyrics and Leadership’: Devine Carama preaches activism during Centre College residency

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Posted at 7:16 PM, Nov 02, 2023

DANVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — In a week-long residency at Centre College, Lexington activist Devine Carama shared his expertise in community, bridging the worlds of activism and hip hop.

“There aren't too many spaces where you get to talk about and incorporate hip hop, but also the community work, but when you look at origins of hip hop culture, it's based on community and being a voice for the voiceless, so being able to make that connection for these college kids has been great,” said Carama.

Throughout the week, the hip hop artist and activist offered courses like “Lyricism & Leadership: Intersection of Hip Hop & Activism,” and “Power of Words: Hip Hop Writing Techniques.”

He also led an open mic night and gave the keynote address during the school’s annual Building Bridges and Community Day.

Addressing an auditorium of students during the annual event, Carama said, “My job today is to inspire you to take that chance, that leap of faith in being a bridge so we can perfect your community and our society.”

While he may be new to campus, Carama isn’t new to the topic of community at all. For years, he’s been a leading voice in Lexington’s fight to end gun violence, spearheading One Lexington, a program working to mobilize city government and resources to end violent crime.

In his courses and keynote address, he urged listeners to find their own social issue to defend.

“When you get out of college, you’ll be pointed and pushed to be on one side or another, and I'm challenging them to continue to stay in a space of nuance. Push yourself, stay focused on people, humanity, not on a side, be less focused on winning and more focused on helping,” said Carama.

In his address on Thursday, he preached four principles: Be yourself, believe in something, be brave, and have balance.

“That was my advice to them,” said Carama. “Hopefully they took something from that.”

Rounding out his stay at Centre College, Carama will perform for local grade school students in Danville Friday morning, followed by a public performance Friday night. You can learn more here.

Along with his residency at Centre, Carama is organizing his 10th annual youth coat drive. You can donate by visiting https://www.believinginforever.com/.