For the first time, UMD’s Funk Soul Patrol will host an event where breakdancing is not the main event. “We realized we do things better when we have passion about them,” said Paul Yager, president of Funk Soul Patrol (FSP). “So we picked something we were passionate about, which started as the marriage amendment, which got the conversation rolling about the voter ID amendment.”
Each year FSP holds fundraisers for Hip-Hop Education and Awareness Week (April 9-13) and teaches at-risk youth in the community how to breakdance.
But this year, FSP members wanted to do something more.
The members of FSP decided they wanted to create a non-partisan event dedicated to discussing the realities people will face on Election Day. So they teamed up with UMD’s Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) to inform, while FSP will provide the entertainment.
“‘The Reality Slam’ is bringing about the opportunity for people in the community to educate themselves on what is going on in the upcoming election,” said Kelly Czech, senior and secretary of FSP.
A spin-off of a poetry slam, the events will also feature live R&B music, vocal performances and various guest speakers while informational booths from the university and community will be the main focus.
The goal of FSP is education and communication. They hope those who attend will walk away with the education necessary to make an informed vote on Nov. 6 and to pass that information on to family and friends.
“When people say knowledge is power, they truly mean it,” Yager said. “Anyone can be like, ‘I want to vote.’ Well, great. What do you want to vote for? Who do you want to vote for?”
Those who want to learn more about the candidates and issues can attend one of the FSP events. Both events are free and open to the public and will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
● Wednesday, Oct. 3 at Sacred Heart Music Center ● Thursday, Oct. 4 in front of the lower level bookstore
BY KIM HYATT firstname.lastname@example.org