I am in my third period class in high school,
And a substitute teacher stands substituting the tongue that has already grown accustomed to my name.
She fumbles and stumbles across three syllables,
Until I interrupt her, showing her the folds my tongue makes to say this name.
On September 30th, 2019 the uOttawa Teacher Candidates of Colour Collective (TCC) hosted our first event of the year. We were pleased to have the spoken word poet, author and Urban Legends Poetry Collective (ULPC) director, Namitha Rathinappillai present. Her beautiful words and momentous poetry moved and inspired us. In many ways, one could feel the intimacy of community — of belonging and becoming — in that space. The poems Namitha’s shared with us that night covered topics ranging from Education, Feminism and Gender to Race, Art and Intersectionality.
Namitha’s incredible set was followed by a question and answer where she offered the following words of wisdom to the audience:
- Take up space
- Be unapologetic
- Practice makes perfect
- Create a sense of community
Poetry allows for sharing of experiences and helps forge beautiful connections. Our collective was formed out of a need for healing; we hope to create spaces where teacher candidates of colour can work to address and correct the oppressive nature of the education system.
We (the TCC collective) are committed to reforming, adapting, learning and unlearning in community. We wish to make the most of our experiences at uOttawa for ourselves and our future students.
We thank Namitha for a wonderful, much-needed evening. She can be reached through social media at the following:
We would also like to thank everyone who attended the slam poetry night, RSEKN and the faculty members who supported us.
If you are a teacher candidate of colour interested in joining the collective, or would like to be informed about our upcoming projects, you can contact us at https://www.facebook.com/uottawaTCC/ and at firstname.lastname@example.org