Awakening awareness with Kevin Powell

Powell spoke to audiences about the power of pop culture in diversity


Political activist Kevin Powell stood before 60-70 students at Skyline sharing his wisdom on what it means to awaken the genius within.

“I see beautiful diversity,” activist Kevin Powell told watchful students this past Tuesday at Skyline.

Powell is not only a political activist, but a writer, entrepreneur and an outspoken advocate against violence towards women and violence in general. He has also stood as a strong supporter in pushing American male culture away from sexism.

“Everyone in this room is equal,” he continued. “Equal, equal, equal.”

Powell covered many subjects during his talk, from the current campaign between Clinton and Trump to the controversial movement of kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance started by athlete Colin Kaepernick.

“If you’re Colin Kaepernick, you’re saying ‘what does it matter if I am only a football player if this [injustice] is happening to people who look like me,’” Powell said. “Even if he’s white he’s still considered black in this country. That is racist, let’s call it what it is.”

Another concept mentioned by Powell was “Black Lives Matter,” in which Powell turned to pop culture and discussed the impact it has made on awareness of the movement.

“If you listen to Solange’s new album (A Seat at the Table), her mother starts speaking,” Powell said. “She is saying, “Hey just because I love myself as a black person…doesn’t mean I dislike other people, I just love myself.”

Powell concluded his opinion on the matter with one personal statement: “Real simple: stop killing us.”

Following this statement, many questions were raised, all of them answered by Powell during the Q&A session.

Skyline student Patrick O’Neil, a communications major, asked Powell what his view was on the social media movement and how it has “changed the way people search and educate themselves.”

Powell stated that social media can be both beneficial and bring out the worst in people.

“I believe in balance,” he said. “One of the things I noticed is that we can use [social media] for a tool for good or for ratchetness.”

“Social media is where the people are,” he said. “If you are serious about change you have to always go where the people are, no matter what.”

He ended the event by delivering this poignant advice:

“Education means nothing, nothing, nothing,” Powell said. “…if you don’t reach back and help other people.”

Students who attended received a free signed copy of Powell’s latest book, “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood,” and had the chance to share a few words with the activist. Powell held conversations with each individual, asking about their major and goals in life, despite the long line of eager students waiting to shake his hand.