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Donkey Coffee and Espresso, located on 17 West Washington Street.

Black Magic Open Mic Night to promote diversity and pride

Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) will host an open mic night Friday at 8 p.m. that will allow black poets, musicians and singers to share their work.

The open mic will take place at Donkey Coffee and Espresso, 17 W. Washington St., and is part of Ohio University’s celebration of Black History Month. Any black artist interested in walking in to share their work will be welcomed and appreciated.

The group made it clear the event is not being held because the group only represents African-Americans but rather because it is Black History Month.

Chris Pyle, co-owner of Donkey Coffee and Espresso, said he is proud to own the venue for the event and said this will be the third or fourth consecutive year that it has taken place in his business.

“The open mic night fits really well with doing justice in the community,” Pyle said. “We truly love that our space is used to do it.”

Pyle said he has attended a Black Magic open mic night before and he thought it was wonderful.

“People enjoyed the event,” Pyle said. “It not only encouraged the audience, but also challenged their thoughts and opinions.”

STARS holds diversity training sessions in the classroom to educate faculty and students on racism and how to discuss it despite how difficult of a conversation it is.

Craig Jenkins, a senior studying women’s, gender and sexuality studies, is the president of STARS.

“Activism on this campus is interesting because you hear about it a lot, but you don’t get specific details of where it’s from,” Jenkins said. “We’d like to attract activists to join who want to be part of something.”

Rasmia Shraim, a sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders, is the vice president of STARS and plays a significant role in making the Black Magic event happen.

“I joined this small group because as a Muslim-American student, I wanted to be a part of something promoting diversity,” Shraim said.

Shraim said STARS is implementing more strategies to promote the group because much of the student population is unaware of its existence.

“Being vice president of this group makes me feel proud of myself and more confident in my ability to advocate not only for myself but for other people of different minority groups,” Shraim said.


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