Julian Gilliam, Social Activism & Champagne

Julian Gilliam is a Chicago-based artist who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Julian, who also goes by Logik, drank champagne with host Ana Fernatt and talked about social activism, race and how he fights for equality in his art and life.

I woke up this morning with this conversation on my mind. It's been on my mind all day. I can't stop thinking about it.

There are a few things mentioned in this podcast that I want people to have access to: 1) A mentorship program called Launch U. If you listen to this podcast and want to start making small steps, sign up for this program like I just did at http://www.launchu.org/. 2) There is a part in the second half where I (Ana the host) begin describing some of the issues facing disadvantaged youths who are given scholarships to prestigious universities. I do it pretty clumsily (champagne, you guys!) and do not properly explain the study. I considered deleting it from the podcast, but the conversation on either side of it wouldn't make sense with that edit. I highly encourage everyone to listen to This American Life's two part story called The Problem We All Live With which outlines the study I was referring to, as well as, the Desegregation Program in Missouri that Julian and I discuss. You can find that here - Part 1: https://soundcloud.com/this-american-life/562-the-problem-we-all-live , and Part 2: https://soundcloud.com/this-american-life/promo-for-563-the-problem-we

There are a couple things that I want to make sure everybody does once they listen to this podcast. 

1) Register. Vote. This is the most important thing you can do. If you believe that you don't have a voice in the system and you do not vote, you will NOT have a voice in the system. Even better, run for office if that's a thing you want to do. Run for neighborhood committee, run for alderman, run for governor, run for congress, run for president. Run the system.

2) Talk to people who do not agree with you. And do not discount someone who disagrees. Consider them an uneducated opportunity. It is so much easier to speak with people that are already on your level. It'll keep your feelings so much more intact to stay blind to some of the ignorant and terrible stuff out there. Don't avoid. Engage. Be sympathetic, even when everything tells you that they are wrong. Do not agree, but remember to sympathize with them as a person on their own journey of enlightenment. Enlighten them. And when you do it, know your numbers. Your stats. Your studies. Do not delete your Facebook friends with small world views. Keep them and be part of what makes their world bigger. If no one is there to show them the right way, they will not change.

3) Support Julian Gilliam's work. He is incredibly talented. I'm going to get a piece for my house. You can find him on Instagram here at JulianGilliam

4) Sign up to be a mentor with Launch U. Again, you can do that at www.launchu.org.

6) Do not let your chin touch your chest. Look directly at those that challenge you. Where the eyes lay, the body will follow.

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