International Vocal Ensemble (IVE) Studies The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed

IVE class on Sept 9 zoom meeting with DeRay Mckesson

This semester, the International Vocal Ensemble is studying and preparing for a performance of a portion of the cantata Seven Last Words of the Unarmed by Joel Thompson. It is a piece of music for choir and piano that has as its text the last sentences spoken by seven unarmed black men before police killed them. The IVE is preparing the movement, Amadou Diallo, which is a setting of the last voicemail message he left his mother before being shot and killed in 1999: "Mom, I'm going to college."  

DeRay Mckesson, civil rights activist, co-founder of Campaign Zero, and host of the Pod Save the People podcast, virtually joined the IVE on Wednesday, Sept. 9. He spoke with the IVE and answered students' questions about Diallo's killing, systemic racism, and what we can do to prevent both in the future.   

The image is a screenshot of their zoom session, with sophomore Simone Duran-Nyers asking Mckesson a question about how to speak to family members about this issue.