Village Club Series never fails to deliver the best of the best when it comes to our Thursday night entertainment. While student performances always make us feel proud to see our fellow Batesies on the stage—with musical performances ranging from The Remedy to Alisa Amador’s solo extravaganza—it is always nice to spice up the variety and recruit performative groups from all over the country. On March 10, the spoken word group Sister Outsider came to the Mays Center to share their personal stories and the beautiful poetry they use to illustrate them.

This semester’s lineup of performers has already been a grand slam. Thanks to VCS coordinator Qiu Fogarty, we have been graced with the musical presence of Ballroom Thieves, Ryanhood, Tall Heights (a crowd favorite), The Spring Standards, Jeff Leblanc and Stabwounds. However, the originality of the dynamic duo Sister Outsider left the audience in emotional awe after their heart-wrenching performance.

Dominique Christina and Denice Frohman are award-winning poets who have collaborated to make up the first pair of Women of the World Poetry Slam Champions. Over the past two years, the two women have been touring the country at several different colleges and universities. They put strong emphasis on celebrating their “otherness” by refusing to exist in a marginalized society that fosters a culture of violence and exclusion. They emphasize and facilitate conversations about the issues of identity, inclusion, race, gender, LGBTQ issues and the gruesome inhumanity of gender-based violence.

Mary Anne Bodnar ’16 has been to many, if not all, of the VCS performances this semester. She said, “Sister Outsider is always such a pleasure because of how Dominique and Denice feed off of and support each other throughout the performance. As an audience member you really feel like you’re getting a look into their friendship, which infuses their already poignant reflections with warmth and humor.”

These concepts were evidently clear in their performance on Thursday evening. They connected to the audience on such a relatable and comfortable level with their humorous introductions to their poems and their passivity in their subtly powerful words. Their art was not too aggressive, making the performance strong and effective.

One of Dominique’s most resonating poems was the personal story of a girl who was gang raped and beaten to death. Her words were powerfully painful, effortlessly spewing out of her mouth yet stabbing us all like daggers. It was a heartfelt performance with a serious message about sexual assault on young women. Her next poem was about her mother, the most womanly woman she knows. She truly poured her heart out onto the stage as she told a tale of her childhood—her father leaving, her mother struggling to raise a child as a single mom and the endless hardships they went through together.

These two women have a special bond with common goal in mind: foster activism for these serious issues and faciliate change. They work tirelessly to do their part by touring the entire country and exposing their vulnerability. Now it’s up to us to take their baton and move forward.

Sister Outsider performs at VCS. RILEY HOPKINS/THE BATES STUDENT