“The only truth is music.” ― Jack Kerouac
What a profound quote and the guiding theme for Denver's second Culture First virtual event. Tribal Zyphers (https://www.facebook.com/TribalZy/) founders, Ill Se7en and FaT TrAK, will guide us through this event using music and lyrics to find our truths and to define our identities, so we can all fight injustices together, with a clear mind and focus.
The co-hosts of the Choose Inclusion podcast, sponsors of this event, (www.chooseinclusion.com) - Nina Baliga, Mike Hess and UB Ciminieri - will kick off this event with a conversation about bias - the science of bias and why our brains do what they do - to help everyone get into a mindset of awareness and vulnerability.
Following a live performance by Ill Se7en and FaT TrAK, they will dive into an introduction to their program: Tribal Zyphers (a creative mentor empowerment program) is run by artists and activists who work with youth/young adults who are at-risk, giving them creative outlets to express emotions, and explore Self-identity. They believe in utilizing art as a mentoring tool to teach a world-culture transforming perspective. They engage the community through the elements of Hip Hop, mindset and indigenous culture as a rite of passage, teaching the importance of connecting to community entrepreneurship and advocacy. We'll get a taste of their program followed by breakout groups that will take us through our own Self-identifying journey using music and lyrics.
Attendees will leave with a writing sample they've created to share with their communities; and, after the event, Ill Se7en and FaT TrAK will combine all the writing samples of our attendees to create a new song to be shared with the community.
We at Denver Culture First stand against racism and stand for inclusion. We believe in giving voice to those who haven't been given an equitable chance at being heard. We are excited to partner with Tribal Zyphers and listen and learn to their voices so we can all change and become allies in this fight against injustice.
Michael Acuna is an artist that utilizes creativity to engage restorative justice, social equality and mental health through poetry, music, and creative workshop. He has partnered with The Office of the independent monitor, Youth On record and local organizations facilitating conversations around Implicit bias, ingenious, and immigrant rights as well as identity. Michael is one of three Co-founders of Tribal Zyphers a program that teaches youth the culture of hip-hop as a rite of passage. The artist ILL Se7en aka Acuna Black is an accomplished artist that has traveled and toured internationally. Michael has received several accolades for his passion to reform a broken system. In 2018 Michael received a Master Mind Award from the Denver Westword and redline art gallery. He’s also received an MBK 25 award from the My brother keeper initiative founded by President Obama in 2014. In early 2019 ILL was invited to be a Ted-X Speaker on Implicit bias and adolescent development. ILL Se7en is currently consulting and speaking on the importance to push forward the narrative of Implicit bias, utilizing art as a platform of change. @illse7en on Instagram. Tribal Zyphers website
FaT TrAk is a music producer from Widefield now residing in Denver, Colorado. He began his career on youtube appearing with friend and mentor Boonie Mayfield. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Business at the University of Colorado. He is an alumni for Cre-8 Music Academy at Westlake Studios in Hollywood where he studied Mixing and Mastering. His passion for music has led him to teach a music production class at West Career Academy. He continues to inspire the youth by appearing as a guest facilitator and volunteer at Youth on Record. He's produced two albums up to date. The first "The Meditations of Marcus Arrilius" which was released in 2012 and his most recent instrumental album "FaT TrAk's from the MPC" released at the end of 2016. Both albums earned their own station on Pandora. He represents Colorado for iStandard to help producers be seen and heard. @fat_trak on Instagram. Tribal Zyphers website
Blind Institute of Technology
Mike Hess is Founder and Executive Director of the Blind Institute of Technology. He brings more than two decades of blindness experience, leadership, and thoughtfulness to their mission. Even though Mike had great success in his corporate career, he always had the notion of leaving his thumbprint on humanity. Thus, he left corporate America to begin the mission at Blind Institute of Technology. He brings his unique perspective to Breaking the Bias to help organizations “see” through his eyes when working to build more curious and inclusive workplaces. www.blindit.org