Who do you think you are? Who do you want to be? Who does the rest of the world expect you to be? And ultimately, who gets to decide?
In this episode, young adult members of Elementz, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, and Democracy & Z do some introspection, peel off the labels, shrug out of the stereotypes, confront the self—and celebrate it.
“Together, ‘self’ and ‘identity’ are the work you put in to become who you are, and that’s how you say to the world, ‘This is me.’ ” – Camille Jones
Camille Jones, 23, University of Cincinnati graduate, local artist and dancer with Elementz. “I think of myself as a proud, determined, fierce black woman, writer, dancer, creative, whose strengths are compassion and empathy, who’s always on a quest for knowledge and wisdom and who only wants to show kindness and love to other people. That’s a really long definition, but that’s how I feel.”
Cierra Fogle, 18, recent graduate of Colerain H.S. and a member of the Tellus Zine editorial board. “I consider myself a young creative, and a powerful queer black woman, an artist and nature-lover.”
Leslie Walker, a.k.a. KiD Pxnk (Kid Punk), 18, an artist and rapper with Elementz. “I identify as a self-made genius.”
Joyeuse Muhorakeye, 15, of Aiken H.S. She grew up in Rwanda, East Africa, and emigrated to Cincinnati with her family in 2016. “I identify myself as a black woman who is strong, an athlete, unique from others.” Joyeuse also appeared in the D&Z Episode 12, about reopening schools during the pandemic.
Noah Hawes (host), aspiring rapper, resident artist of Elementz, and… comedian. “Personally, I identify as a gangster.”