What We Need Now: Poems, Love & Empathy

March 17, 2021

Season 2 - Episode 3

So for this week’s episode we are doing somethin’ a lil different…but not really! We’re talking about artfully expressing empathy through poetry and spoken word. And if we take a look at environmental justice work, we see that it is rooted in the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in the enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. And at the heart of this work is empathy. And our guest this week, K Love the Poet, is here talking about how empathy just so happens to be the magic ingredient to art. 

“[Poetry] is about getting you to look at your scars in a different way. My purpose is to bring light and power and the value in having scars. You can use your scars to heal other people.” – K Love the Poet

In this minisode we are exploring the intersection of art and activism. Artistic activism is a dynamic practice combining the creative power of the arts to move us emotionally with the strategic planning of activism necessary to bring about social change (Center for Artistic Activism). K Love the Poet uses spoken word to address topics of trauma, resiliency, and love.

This episode also explores what K Love refers to as, “finding the sugar in the salt” or what thanatologist Cole Imperi calls Shadowlight. Imperi defines Shadowlight as a positive consequence that may come from experiencing either a Big Death (loss of life) or Shadowloss (a loss in life). In her exploration of Shadowloss K Love not only dives into some of the most vulnerable aspects of her experience with it but also gifts the listeners with tools to be able to move through those difficult moments. 

“What we need now is empathy. I know that a lot of people doing the work have the ability to empathize…what leads to empathy is vulnerability and vulnerability is ‘not being afraid to go first’”. – K Love

By those terms climate change could be considered a shadowloss for many. As we’ve seen recently with the severe storms in Texas and many other instances, the disasters caused by climate change can take a massive toll in the lives of our communities. From homes and livelihoods being destroyed to the loss of life, there is a urgent need to protect and heal our communities. We all play a role in the fight for the health of our planet but also the health of our communities, K Loves offers us a pathway to do both through the vehicle of storytelling, the strength of vulnerability, and power of using our voice for the benefit of others.

K Love the POET (she/her) Bio 

International Spoken Word Artist Motivational Speaker. She’s shared stages with arts & activist legends such as Angela Davis, Ameena Mathews, Ava Muhammad, Jessie Jackson, and Common, just to name a few. A recipient of several awards for her community work and humanitarianism, she also has titles to her credit of actress, author, healer and mentor. In 2009 she co-founded LYRIC Mentoring (Let Your Rhymes Inspire Creativity), a grassroots endeavor that became one of the most impactful youth movements in Chicago and helped develop some phenomenal young artists. She is a facilitator with IMAN’s Green Re-Entry program, which provides transitional housing, life skills education, and sustainable construction training for returning citizens and high-risk youth.

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Episode Resources/Further Reading

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