Hey y’all guess what?
Because it's my birthday, and since you’ve come all this way, I thought I would share a little about me with you.
What’s a birthday without a little reflection?
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up around musicians. Though singing ran in the family, it didn’t run through the school programs where I was enrolled. Despite my mother passing when I was five, I was grateful for the adult figures I did have in my life, especially my teachers. I loved being a helper and aid in my school and church and have been “Directing” even as a kid!
When my grandmother passed when I was 12, I would move to Texas with my other family members and would also find a new love: singing in my school’s choirs. Making music fostered the community I needed when I was in states of uncertainty and trauma.
Every child should not just been seen in our classrooms, but seen in the culture of our communities.
My love for Music Education and Conducting would be nurtured at Texas State University and Michigan State University. Both schools provided opportunities for growth in and outside of the classroom including working with outreach choirs and community projects. It would be these projects that were the most representative of where I wanted to give back. Unknown to most of my teachers and peers, I was experiencing moments of homelessness throughout my time in school. It would be well after graduation that I would realize how my time at these schools nurtured me and provided me with community when I was in distress.
My purpose is to touch as many lives through the vehicle of music.
Being Human Together began as a DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) presentation and grew to a conversation piece as civil unrest developed in the summer of 2020. Though my plans for returning to the classroom were clear, I felt a call to focus my efforts on making resources and connecting with as many teachers as possible on how to expand our conversations and connections in and out of our classrooms.
We need to practice looking at things from a multitude of perspectives. And only then can we know empathy in action. Looking back at our journey is essential to our growth and moving forward.
Will you take action with me today?
All I want for my birthday is for you to share the mission of BHT and donate to my scholarship fund. You can donate to my PayPal, Venmo (@cotyraven) or cash app ($cotyrave).
Last year with the help of my fellow colleagues, we were able to give away 2 scholarships to students who embodied the mission of Being Human Together. Join me for this birthday celebration.
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