STORY #10: Peace & Positivity
My name is Delvin, but you can call me Del. I’m from D.C. and attended middle and high school at CHEC. The first time I connected with One Common Unity (OCU) was during my middle school days. OCU had started an afterschool program, Fly By Light, which I grew interested in. In the program, my peers and I could be ourselves and express ourselves to each other without restraints or judgments, but with the will to listen and understand. Once OCU introduced the retreats, I felt like I hit the jackpot where I found a nice open space called nature, where you could move about more freely. And with people who created space for me and my peers, along with the opportunity to reflect and deal with the metaphorical baggage, we gain coping with society. Somehow it was always fun to be a part of. Once I graduated high school, I also graduated from Fly By Light, but then came about the opportunity to work with OCU. Now, I’ve been doing so many different things like facilitation, performing, and having fun while still learning so much.
Today, I feel I’m called to be myself and love others for being who they are and making it work. I also really love being myself within whatever I do. Speaking of doing things, I got together with a few artists, aka dope human beings. We created our music video, “Peace & Positivity.” The really dope work of art presented by OCU on youtube. The artists who are a part of “P&P” are my friends; they also participated in Fly By Light, and I have grown to care about them. Zhy and Isaiah brought their own unique perspectives to add to the message. The idea was sparked by deep thought on how life is really rough for some people. But also, how life can be better for anyone, with just simple self-reinforcements like breathing in and breathing out when you start to tense up in certain spaces of life. Or, to be more open-minded and less judgemental with others who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise. I became inspired to write the lyrics when remembering the feelings I had as a child. Not being surrounded by things and people made to hurt but instead surrounded by people who genuinely, unconditionally loved me.
Some messages from the song, relevant to what is going on today, would be learning to be peaceful, patient, and asking questions about things they don’t or can’t understand. Listeners can take away how it’s cool to be yourself & express your feelings peacefully without force or harming others. I started and finished this project with no self-doubt or negative judgments. If people understand the message and can vibe with and enjoy the energy, then my objective is complete!
“With pure imagination, I think MLK would be filled with joy about the message in Peace & Positivity and maybe even spill some tears of abundant love. I just hope people everywhere authentically care more about themselves and each other as the new year progresses into the future.”~ Del
MLK Streets Project (2010) – 43 min. Documentary Film
Led by students from the A NU VIEW youth filmmaking program—directed and run in partnership with One Common Unity and Straight, No Chaser Productions. These D.C. high school students took an unforgettable tour to cities across the United States, visiting Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevards/Streets in each of the cities. During their travels, they asked residents of MLK Streets an ironic question: “Why are the streets named after our famed, non-violent, civil rights leader often the most poverty-stricken and violent streets in the city?”
Offering a new perspective on the man we call ‘KING,’ The MLK Streets Project is the perfect catalyst to begin the necessary conversations of change in our communities. By mixing history and humor to educate the viewer, this film challenges you to think beyond ‘the dream.’ Instead, it inspires you to wake up and take action.