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The new student group Writing Organization Reaching Dynamic Students will host “Art! In So Many W.O.R.D.S.,” featuring artistic and poetic performances 9 p.m. Friday in the Marlo Room of the Farinon Center.

The event is part of the Consciousness Conference Weekend and seeks to heighten awareness of social and global issues by allowing students to express their beliefs and opinions using various art media. Members of the group will present skits, debates, dialogues and monologues, all through the medium of poetry.

Other events associated with the Consciousness Conference are a screening of the film Crash 7 p.m. Thursday in Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 104, followed by a discussion facilitated by Michael Benitez, director of intercultural development, and a performance by “Beat Master” 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Farinon Atrium.

W.O.R.D.S. was founded last spring by Danielle Bero ’07 (Astoria, N.Y.), who created a major that combines creative mediums and social justice, and Alberto Luna ’08 (Bronx, N.Y.) to encourage discussion and the expression of ideas outside the classroom.

The students recognized the presence of many cultural groups on campus, but wanted to add a different kind of club to the college community.

“Danielle Bero and I felt that there was a high demand for a more personal, consistent, and socially active club that incorporated poetry, music, and art, and allowed an intellectually stimulating environment in which members can spark conversation on political, moral, and social issues among their peers,” says Luna. “We wanted a creative outlet, something that gave students a voice.”

He adds, “Anyone is welcome to join W.O.R.D.S., stand up for what they believe in, and express themselves through work of any kind.”

This semester the group has performed at events including World AIDS Open Mic Cafe, the Aftermath charity exhibition held by Foundation for the Awareness and Alleviation of Poverty, Take Back the Night, pre-inaugural activities, and Block pARTy.

In addition, W.O.R.D.S. presents open mics 9 p.m. every other Monday at Gilbert’s.

Plans include poetry slams, festivals, and off campus events.

Luna is activities coordinator on the Heritage of Latin America special interest floor and a Gates Millennium Scholar.

He and Bero are Posse Foundation Scholars and program coordinators with Landis Community Outreach Center.

A board member of Association of Black Collegians, Bero will serve an internship sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Development next semester that will include time spent with orphans in Namibia and courses at Augsburg College in political and social change as well as racism and resistance in South Africa and the U.S.

Consciousness Conference is sponsored by W.O.R.D.S., the Office of Intercultural Development, the South College resident advisers, and Association of Black Collegians, with support from International Students Association and Hispanic Society of Lafayette.

Categorized in: Students